All About Animals discussion

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message 1: by Barbara, Founder and Moderator (new)

Barbara (lv2scpbk) | 1256 comments Mod
ANECDOTES ie any incidents, funny or otherwise, which involve peoples' pets. If you want to add a picture in the gallery of the pet in question.. even better.


message 2: by Stewart, Moderator (new)

Stewart McFarlane (mcfarlane) | 147 comments Mod
One reason why my pack is expanding...
This morning I was calling in the dogs to put them in the car at the end of their morning off lead run. The brave rescue puppy had disappeared, so I sent my GSD Pepsi off to find him. I have trained him to find any missing member of his pack, and herd them back to me. What I didn't know was that the puppy was hunting in cover right in front of me, so instead, Pepsi brought in two females he knows, but hadn't seen in ages.He was pleased as anything with a,"Look what I found" expression. They belong to a poor family who fish the reservoir and do some laboring.

So I managed to lose one dog and gain two. Of course as soon as the two playful bitches appear the puppy is there, introducing himself. The rest of the dogs were already in the car, but they had to be let out to play with the new girls, so our departure was delayed. Good job I have nothing better to do than amuse dogs all day.


message 3: by Barbara, Founder and Moderator (new)

Barbara (lv2scpbk) | 1256 comments Mod
I just added a video of my sister's horse swinging a ball and he then throws it and hits her in the leg.


message 4: by Barbara, Founder and Moderator (new)

Barbara (lv2scpbk) | 1256 comments Mod
I really like your story Stewart. Dogs can be a real joy and funny. Also, if trained really smart. I think they are all teachable.

I will try and get a video of my one dog ringing the bell to go outside. He will also open the doors by pushing out or pulling it in toward him.


message 5: by Stewart, Moderator (new)

Stewart McFarlane (mcfarlane) | 147 comments Mod
Thanks Barbara.
The door bell ringing and opening doors are great skills for dogs. Will be good to see the video. I Hope he is just getting to the garden or somewhere safe.

My brave little rescue puppy, "Long Ma" is into everything. He has already taught himself how to open the kitchen pedal bin for trash, and then how to open the car window using the electric window button, then he tries to jump out of the car. So both the bin & window button had to be secured.Then he learned how to turn on the car radio, and I hate the radio on in the car. I am worried he will soon learn how to open the fridge door. That is where their cooked meat is kept. I suppose I could just let him get on with it, get his own food, teach him to drive and let him run his own life.


message 6: by Tui (new)

Tui Allen (tuibird) | 393 comments A previous cat we owned was called Pinky (She was a tabby and not at all pink) She was our ship's cat and sailed with us on the high seas. Her life's ambition was to catch a seagull and she was adept and imitating seagull calls and squawks. She occasionally lunged at a seagull, missed, fell overboard and had to be rescued from the clutches of the ocean waves. One day when we were cruising in the islands of the Hauraki gulf, this happened when we were not looking. All we knew is that suddenly she was nowhere on board. We looked around the boat - no sign of Pinky. We rowed around the boat and looked everywhere and really gave up all hope of ever finding her again. We were heartbroken. We loved that cat. As a last resort we finally rowed to the nearest island - an impossibly long distance away from where we were anchored and there was our wet bedraggled Pinky, indignantly waiting for us to arrive and yowling at us for taking so long. She was just fine - she was the most athletic I've ever owned and long-distance open-sea swimming was obviously no problem to Pinky.


message 7: by Stewart, Moderator (new)

Stewart McFarlane (mcfarlane) | 147 comments Mod
Well done Pinky,I am glad she survived that adventure.

You can get bouyancy jackets for dogs & I guess cats.Our vet has a swimming pool for dogs, and all their clients wear a jacket. I am sure Pinky would have loved wearing the jacket on board (not).

My dogs make do with free swims in the reservoir with nothing but their natural bouyancy and 4 strong legs.

My Rescue puppy has a similar ambition...to catch a swallow. He races round the fields after them. Since Thai swallows are even smaller and faster than European ones, I think his dream will never come true.


message 8: by Tui (new)

Tui Allen (tuibird) | 393 comments Thank-you Stewart. Speaking form my Swallows chair, I hope he never succeeds, but speaking from my Puppy's chair, I will remain ever hopeful on his behalf! :)

Pinky would have been miserable in a flotation vest. It would have utterly cramped her style, but as it turned out she never needed one and she was always one to go seeking the great adventures and solving all her problems with her own physical strength and prowess. She survived all her marine adventures and died years later of something totally unrelated.
But her human carers collected grey hairs during her adventurous exploits.


message 9: by Stewart, Moderator (new)

Stewart McFarlane (mcfarlane) | 147 comments Mod
Elephants and durian

I first tried durian years ago in Penang, Malaysia when a Chinese taxi driver gave me some as we chatted in the park. Liked it ever since. I even like the smell.
Some of the best I had was a small durian growing wild on a huge tree in Krabi, Southern Thailand. I was on long trek looking for a waterfall, so the durian kept me going, with a real energy surge.
When I worked as a volunteer in an elephant sanctuary in Thailand, the elephants loved it. They split the spiky husk with just enough pressure from the foot, scrape out the pulpy fruit with their trunks, then eat the spiky husk. . They roll their eyes and go all quiet and contented after feasting on durian, so maybe there is a mild narcotic effect.
The durian season is quite short, but movable depending on the variety and region. Usually they ripen quickly after picking, and soon are over ripe in the Thai and Malaysian heat. This is when the elephants enjoy them, feasting on over ripe durian and bananas which can't be sold.

Now I live in Thailand and my wife's family run fruit and veg stalls, so in season we can eat all the durian we want, and the elephants get a good share too.

Here is the link to the new Guardian article on durian
in the UK

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandsty...


message 10: by Tanya (last edited Feb 04, 2014 09:45AM) (new)

Tanya Sousa | 40 comments Wonderful, varied stories!

I once raised an orphaned baby skunk after the mother had been hit by a car. Starving and so small it fit in the palm of my hand, it crawled out from under a friend's house looking for food. The others must have perished beneath the house.

I took the little one home (a boy!) and named him weebles. He imprinted on me and would follow me around dutifully. They are very near sighted, and if I got too far ahead he would stop, raise his little head and wail the most heart-breaking call. At night, I'd watch movies with him perched on my shoulder or lap and share buttered popcorn with him. He loved his popcorn.

My cat, however, was not impressed with the new, albeit temporary, addition. She disappeared from view for a good week. I knew she was around because the food and water went down - but strangely the litterbox seemed….hmmmm….a bit less full than usual? One day she came out again, stalking angrily and hopping up on the couch. She stared over at me, lay her ears flat against her head and "assumed the position", releasing a torrent of pee on the couch in clear (and smelly) protest. She forgave me for my lapse of fidelity when the skunk was released back to a remote location, but she certainly left her "mark" on the situation.


message 11: by Stewart, Moderator (new)

Stewart McFarlane (mcfarlane) | 147 comments Mod
Great story Tanya, well done with Weebles the skunk.

A sceptical animal behaviour specialist would probably say the cat was simply re-marking her territory (ie the couch) in response to the presence of an intruder (the skunk; but to me it sounds like she was pissed off (literally & metaphorically).


message 12: by Barbara, Founder and Moderator (last edited Feb 04, 2014 07:59PM) (new)

Barbara (lv2scpbk) | 1256 comments Mod
Hi Tanya, I had a pet skunk for about 7 yrs. I loved having her but gave her to some other skunk loving people cause I had a full time job at the time and felt like I couldn't give her the attention she needed. I loved her.

I struggled with giving her up cause I love skunks. But I thought it was me being selfish and like the saying goes sometimes when you love something you have to let it go.

I didn't give her up freely without investigating where she'd be. The family I gave her to had 19 other skunks. I thought she'd have some friends to play with and better than being home alone most days and evenings.

That was the hardest thing I had to do with a pet. I never like giving up my pets once I obtain them. But, it was in her best interest. She seemed to need companionship.


message 13: by Tanya (new)

Tanya Sousa | 40 comments Stewart wrote: "Great story Tanya, well done with Weebles the skunk.

A sceptical animal behaviour specialist would probably say the cat was simply re-marking her territory (ie the couch) in response to the prese..."


LOL Stewart! I don't buy the skeptics at all and agree with the "pissed off". Animals clearly have feelings, thoughts and responses in light of change. I should have mentioned the spot she peed on was the same spot I sat each evening watching movies etc. with little Weebles on my shoulder/lap! There was no mistaking the statement - and she MADE SURE I was looking before she let her opinion flow. ha-ha-ha!


message 14: by Tanya (new)

Tanya Sousa | 40 comments Barbara wrote: "Hi Tanya, I had a pet skunk for about 7 yrs. I loved having her but gave her to some other skunk loving people cause I had a full time job at the time and felt like I couldn't give her the attentio..."

Sounds like a lovely relationship, Barbara. Truly love when you do the best thing for the animal. :-) I would have loved to keep Weebles, but what I was doing wasn't legal as it was. However, I knew a game warden would simply euthanize him, so I couldn't have that. I taught him how to forage and was also broken hearted when I had to set him free. It was remote place where he wouldn't be likely to see/approach humans and frighten them.


message 15: by Stewart, Moderator (last edited Feb 05, 2014 05:04AM) (new)

Stewart McFarlane (mcfarlane) | 147 comments Mod
Haha... Sounds as if your long suffering cat was
"spot on" in her response to the new guest, and it seems she was make her feelings quite clear to you.

I hope little Weebles had a good life in her wilderness location; and that Barbara's skunk had a good life with the family of skunks and skunk enthusiasts.I didn't know they were social animals.

We don't have skunks in the UK or Thailand. I fear that any Thai skunks would have been eaten centuries ago. Plenty of monkeys though, and a few civet cats in remote parts of Thailand.


message 16: by Tanya (new)

Tanya Sousa | 40 comments I was just reading about civet-formed coffee two days ago and that in order to get the expensive pooped-out beans some people have been catching them, putting them in tiny cages and force-feeding them the coffee cherries so they'll be little coffee bean factories. Oh humanity and greed… :-( Stay in the forests and hide from us, little civets!!!

Oh, I hope I didn't get too far off topic! LOL How the brain does connect one thing to another…

Stewart, your Thailand experiences are fascinating.


message 17: by Barbara, Founder and Moderator (new)

Barbara (lv2scpbk) | 1256 comments Mod
Stewart and Tanya,

As far as skunks being legal, each state has it own laws on it. I know in my state it's only legal if you get it from someone who raises them domesticated. And, you have to have legal papers with you when transporting the animal. Some states you aren't allowed to have them.

I didn't realize until I got mine that there are so many different colors of skunks. I seen black with white, white with black, (yes, there's a difference, lol), pure white and a combo of brown ones. Also silver back ones.

The reason I got mine was there was a breeder in Canada who had over 250 skunks and they were going to put them down if someone didn't rescue them. There was a guy who rescued all 250 of them.

I spent a lot of time with mine to get her where she was able to trust humans again. But, I don't think they would have been able to survive in the wild either.


message 18: by Tanya (new)

Tanya Sousa | 40 comments Oh! I didn't realize yours was domesticated! I did know there are states where they are legal this way. Here in VT they are not, so I did knowingly break the law, I confess. But it was 23 or so years ago, so hopefully the statute of limitations has run out. ;-) I would NEVER have kept him from the wild and worked very hard to have him learn what he would need to learn to be okay. It was that or certain death at the hands of game wardens who have a tough job and see such plentiful animals as "nuisances".

I love what you did for your skunk all the way around, Barbara. Wonderful! And thank you for the info about different colors. I had no idea! Is that only for the domesticated ones, I wonder?


message 19: by Barbara, Founder and Moderator (new)

Barbara (lv2scpbk) | 1256 comments Mod
Tanya wrote: "I love what you did for your skunk all the way around, Barbara. Wonderful! And thank you for the info about different colors. I had no idea! Is that only for the domesticated ones, I wonder? ..."

Thanks Tanya. I also forgot to say there is also spotted skunks.

I'm pretty sure you can see spotted skunks once in a while in the wild and also, the normal color is black with white strips, and then once in a while maybe you could get lucky to see an albino skunk in the wild.

I think, and my opinion only is that the brown ones and silver back ones are mostly domesticated. Also, the ones that are pure white with black strips. The pure white ones looks like a big rat with a bushy tail. Wonder if that's where some of the stories come from when you hear of people saying they seen a huge rat. lol.

It's amazing to see 250 skunks all in one place. The guy had abused them though by leaving them in cages when he cleaned them out and they were frightened. He also used to pick them up by the tail to carry them around with gloves on. So if anyone would put gloves on, my skunk was afraid. She used to run the register of my heater back and forth cause she was penned in along cage. I worked with her to get her so she wasn't afraid to venture out into the living room.

I found a vet who would take care of her needs, like rabies shots, and things. I also used to set her up with a garbage can and would put paper in it with some food so she could dig and wouldn't get bored.

I know a lot about them because I studied up on them cause I had wanted one since I was a child.

If I ever got another one it would be two so they have companionship. I think they need that.

I wouldn't recommend anyone getting one unless they do their homework.

They do make wonderful pets but there are things you also need to know.


message 20: by Stewart, Moderator (new)

Stewart McFarlane (mcfarlane) | 147 comments Mod
The other morning, "Long Ma" the young rescue pup was hunting for squirrels in cover, along with Pepsi, my GSD & Soda my Thai Ridgback cross. Instead of finding a squirel, he found a snake, a checkered keelback I think. The snake lunged at him; but because he was off the lead, he was able to avoid it by jumping backwards. These keelbacks are not poisonous, but they still have a nasty bite, and this was a big one and it was angry. If the dog had been restricted on a lead he wouldn't have had the same mobility for his evasive action. I told him he was an idiot for bothering snakes. The other two dogs stayed back when they saw the movement in the cover was a snake. They are older and have more sense. In Thailand you can always expect the un-expected.


message 21: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Priester (jenniferpriester) | 207 comments Last week my mom and I were working with a friend who helps me fix up my drawings for my books. We were working on a drawing of a puppy superhero and I was having trouble figuring out what pose made him look like a hero to me. Taco was on the bed with myself and my mom and since my Chihuahua is a dog my mom tells him to look heroic. Taco didn't understand those words but right after she said this he basically stood up and fell over onto a pillow. I'm not sure if a blanket got him or he just had bad coordination but whatever he did definitely did not look heroic. Then Taco did what he usually does when people are laughing at him, he rolled over on his back and attempted to look as cute as he could to distract her. My mom gave him a belly rub but I didn't stop laughing at him until he licked me in the nose which has always been his way of getting me to stop laughing at him. He proved how well he knows his humans with his actions that day.
And now on a different and more ironic note, just a few months earlier I had written a new story featuring my character of Chihuahua who is based directly off Taco in personality, thoughts, and many actions, but also happened to be the wacky sidekick of a superhero. At the end of the story I allowed him to finally earn full superhero status so that he was no longer the sidekick of the other hero but the partner. Taco almost made me rethink this one.


message 22: by Stewart, Moderator (last edited Feb 07, 2014 06:07PM) (new)

Stewart McFarlane (mcfarlane) | 147 comments Mod
NOT Strictly an anecdote, as it is from a newspaper report, but lovely story anyway...

Pet dog feared dead after explosion found alive by fire rescue labrador
Four-year-old Collie Carryad was discovered in the rubble of the explosion site by fire investigation dog Reqs.
A pet dog feared to have been killed in a house explosion two days ago has been found alive by a fire rescue labrador.

Four-year-old Collie Carryad was discovered in the rubble of the explosion site in Clacton, Essex. She was found by fire investigation dog Reqs who was alerted to a "whimpering noise" during an inspection of the site.

After investigators cleared some of the debris, Carryad walked out of the rubble having escaped with only a small cut to her leg.

Reqs's handler Nikki Harvey, from Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue, said: "We were carrying out an inspection of the site when we heard a whimpering noise.

"Reqs was immediately alerted and bolted over to where the noise was coming. As we cleared the debris, out popped her head. She was at the bottom of the garden and had been sheltered by trees and other debris.

"She was frightened and quite scared so she was coaxed out with some dog food."

Carryad, who is being reunited with her owners, was taken to a vet's surgery where it was confirmed she had not suffered any serious injuries.

Two-year-old black labrador Reqs has been working with Hertfordshire Fire Service for the past year.

Pictures of Carryad shortly after she was rescued were posted to Reqs's Twitter account which has attracted nearly 2,000 followers.

I have posted a picture of the rescued collie on the photo section. More images & full story can be found at:

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/20...


message 23: by Stewart, Moderator (last edited Feb 07, 2014 06:11PM) (new)

Stewart McFarlane (mcfarlane) | 147 comments Mod
Jennifer wrote: "Last week my mom and I were working with a friend who helps me fix up my drawings for my books. We were working on a drawing of a puppy superhero and I was having trouble figuring out what pose mad..."

Well done Taco on his promotion to full superhero status .
I always think of Chihuahuas as heroic.
Can you post a photo of him?


message 24: by Stewart, Moderator (new)

Stewart McFarlane (mcfarlane) | 147 comments Mod
The twice lucky turtle
This afternoon I took two of my rescued puppies to the vet, to monitor their skin problems. They are much improved. To reward them for behaving well at the vet, many lakes and ponds, as well as fish,turtles, birds and a few snakes. Near the edge of one these I noticed a small “Malayan snail eating turtle” at a strange angle in the water. It was very still and I thought it was dead, as live ones usually head for the deep water as soon as you appear. Then I saw it extend and retract its head, and realized that it couldn’t dive to the deep as its back leg was trapped in fine nylon fishing netting which was also wrapped around dead branches. I think it was so badly tangled that it couldn’t surface to breathe. They breathe through their nostrils or mouth, and will drown if they can’t get air. I needed to act quickly, so I gently lifted the turtle and everything out and let it rest on the bank and grabbed my Swiss army penknife. This has a small pair of sharp scissors, perfect for cutting fishing nets. I first cut away all the net around the branches, to ease the pressure on its leg. Then I lifted up the little turtle with one hand and got to work on the netting wrapped around its foot. I cleared the lot in less than three minutes. I gently extended its leg so I could get to the nylon wrapped around the base. It relaxed and was breathing OK. The leg was undamaged and it only seems to have lost a claw in its struggle with the netting, and that should grow back. I even removed a leach from near its head. I told it that it was a lucky turtle, popped it back in the water, and it dived to the deep and safety. The reason these lakes and ponds have so many turtles, is that pious Thai Buddhists buy them, along with fish, to earn merit by releasing them, with accompanying prayers and incense offerings. So this little turtle was lucky or meritorious twice over. While I was performing this operation, the puppies were brilliant, they sniffed the turtle just once and just sat under a tree and waited for me. The turtle was very relaxed about being handled, even though it cannot have been pleasant. Fortunately I used to keep terrapins as a kid, so I know how to handle them without getting them stressed.
I hate this nylon fishing net, it is lethal to animals. I spend a lot of time near lakes and reservoirs here in Thailand and I am always disposing of lumps of the stuff that fishermen just throw down. Two years ago I had to rescue a beautiful keelback snake tangled in some at a reservoir near here. (See the full story in Chapter 19 of my e book , “OF MICE & ZEN. Animal Encounters in the Life a Wandering Buddhist”… Available at: www.taichi-exercises.com or from Amazon).
Just to add to my anger at this thoughtless, ignorant irresponsibility, I looked up at the tree under which this drama happened , and found a two foot bow saw blade, just left lodged in a branch, so I disposed of that as well as the netting. It could have really damaged any bird or squirrel trying to use the tree.
I have added some photos of the turtle and its rescue. I took them in a hurry as I wanted to get the turtle safely back in its lake, so they are not good pictures. I have also added a good shot of the same species of turtle taken near Bangkok by Jonathan Hakim.
Stewart McFarlane 13 February 2014

Of Mice and Zen. Animal Encounters in the Life of a Wandering Buddhist


message 25: by Barbara, Founder and Moderator (new)

Barbara (lv2scpbk) | 1256 comments Mod
So glad your cleaning up that stuff when you see it. Every little bit helps these wonderful animals. Glad you were there to save a few.

It's awful how lazy some people have gotten and/or just don't care about the environment and leave things around that could hurt other creatures.


message 26: by Thetravelingpanda (last edited Feb 13, 2014 09:47AM) (new)

Thetravelingpanda | 9 comments My grandmother had two cats from the same litter. One called Inky and the other Grey.Usually they are sleeping during the day but once they are awake they need every ones attention on them. I was drawing in the garden sitting on a chair. I had a water tank for my watercolor beside my chair. The two little tricksters came around me asking to be pet. I cuddled them for about five minute and then put them back down to continue my drawing. They mewled unhappily. Grey jumped on my sketch book purring. I groaned against him and set him down once more but! his brother had stolen my pencil so I ran after him in the garden. He finally let it go. When I came back to my chair the water tank was on the ground and a large water stain on my notebook. My color pencils were scattered on the grass and my brush in Grey's muzzle. And he was purring like an engine! Inky came by and brushed his head on my leg. How could I scold two cute little beings?


message 27: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Priester (jenniferpriester) | 207 comments Stewart wrote: "Jennifer wrote: "Last week my mom and I were working with a friend who helps me fix up my drawings for my books. We were working on a drawing of a puppy superhero and I was having trouble figuring ..."

This is Taco's photo collage that I posted to the group photo's awhile back: https://www.goodreads.com/photo/group...

If you want to see any other photo's, and/or recent videos which I have one to add of him yet from this year, you can also find him on cuteness.com where he has a pet profile along with all my other current and past pets. If you ever want to visit his cuteness.com page just visit my website: www.jenniferpriester.com and check out the Meet the Anipals section where you will find the direct link to his page.


message 28: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Priester (jenniferpriester) | 207 comments Lately I have had some interesting moments with my crazy Chihuahua, Taco.

The first one has to do with Taco's unusual eating habits. Taco has always been a bit odd when it comes to food. He will eat almost anything except peas, liver, and a very short list of other foods, but even while he likes it he needs encouragement to eat his dog food. He doesn't play with toys but before he will eat his food someone has to play with it with him first. He also won't eat unless he knows there is a treat waiting for him afterwards. Anyway Taco likes to toss around his food for a while in a game of fetch except he does the throwing and the humans have to find and fetch the piece of food for him. This is an everyday thing as is the rule that his bowl must be empty in order for him to get a treat after eating. So one day I come into the room and Taco starts jumping around and barking at me. He leads me over to his empty food bowl. I ask him if he ate his food and he gets excited then I ask him if he ate all his food and oddly enough there is a slightly guilty look on his face but he gives me his sharp, demanding bark, then sits up and begs so I get him his treat. A while later I go into the room where the bunny's litter box and toys are to clean up for the night as Kojikaki is back in her cage. As I am cleaning up I find what looks like very unusual rabbit droppings. Looking closer at the pieces I find that they are not rabbit droppings but the black pieces from Taco's dog food that he isn't a big fan of eating. Taco had actually hidden these pieces among the rabbit droppings near the litter boxes. Now the litter boxes get picked up before Taco gets fed so he can't do that anymore.

Next, not really that long ago, I got woken up by tornado sirens...well actually my mom woke me up because otherwise I would have slept right through them. It has happened before. Anyway, pillows were thrown into the hall and my mom grabs the pets. She asks me which one I want and I choose Taco as I trust him more than Kojikaki. Kojikaki is a bit wild in normal situations. Well, Taco got shoved under the pillows with me where we probably stayed for about half an hour until it was clear the tornado wasn't going to hit. However, during this time I was having a hard time not laughing through it as within the first minute of being under the pillows Taco was snoring in my arms. I guess he knew there wasn't anything to worry about and thought we were having some kind sleepover together but I was left wondering if Taco would sleep through a real tornado or not.


message 29: by Stewart, Moderator (last edited Oct 11, 2014 08:26PM) (new)

Stewart McFarlane (mcfarlane) | 147 comments Mod
GOOD DAY FOR A SOAKING
I took a new track on a walk with the dogs early yesterday morning. There has been heavy monsoon rainfall over the past few days in Central Thailand. The track soon turned into a stream, but we carried on, as it looked interesting, cutting through a heavily forested hillside. Good job I was wearing my new rubber wellies. The dogs loved splashing along in the stream. We were rewarded by this lovely little waterfall ((see my waterfall & dog pictures in the photo section, page 5)). I know the stream it feeds further down the hillside, and that only flows a few weeks in the rainy season. I think the waterfall is the same. It is very remote, and clearly, few people go there. So another entry on my home made map of the Chonburi back-country. It is principally a map of dog walking routes. I have started to enjoy the rainy season now that I have my wellies, after all, once thoroughly wet, you can't get any wetter.The dogs seem to think the same. I like the fact that in Thailand I can find remote quiet places like this and be alone with the dogs.


message 30: by Debbie (new)

Debbie Zapata Sounds awesome, Stewart!


message 31: by Kim (new)

Kim Hampton | 180 comments We raised three baby squirrels one time, after their tree home was cut down by a crew who didn't realize they were in there until the top piece hit the ground and they started squealing. They were the cutest things ever. We would give them a bottle, and then they would run around our living room, using us for human trees, until they got sleepy. Then they would curl up around our necks, under our hair, and go to sleep. We eventually released them. We found the female dead one morning, and one of the males ran off, but the other lived to be at least 10 years old. He would run up on our porch, sit in the picture window and beg for food.
Our pastor came over early one morning to borrow a chainsaw. My dad was still eating breakfast, so he told him to go out back and get it and he would get his boots on and be out in a minute. About 30 seconds later, we heard him yelling and carrying on. We went running outside, and the squirrel had run up his pants leg, wanting to be fed. Of course the pastor had no idea that it was a "tame" squirrel, so he thought he was under attack. He was dancing around the yard, screaming at the top of his lungs and trying to shake the squirrel loose. As soon as he saw Dad, the squirrel ran down and went to him, and the pastor recovered; but he didn't come visit us for a LONG time after that!


message 32: by Barbara, Founder and Moderator (new)

Barbara (lv2scpbk) | 1256 comments Mod
Stewart that sounds like a wonderful place to be.


message 33: by Barbara, Founder and Moderator (new)

Barbara (lv2scpbk) | 1256 comments Mod
Kim, Your squirrel story is funny.


message 34: by Stewart, Moderator (new)

Stewart McFarlane (mcfarlane) | 147 comments Mod
Smart and funny squirrel. I wonder if they could be trained to do that; to get rid of Missionary Types going door to door.


message 35: by Stewart, Moderator (last edited Oct 13, 2014 09:10PM) (new)

Stewart McFarlane (mcfarlane) | 147 comments Mod
I added another shot of my local waterfall in Thailand.
It really is an enchanting place. Here Pepsi and Som Ying are chilling in the water. I think the other 6 dogs were busy around the trees looking for lizards & squirrels.

My home in the North Yorkshire,Hill Country in UK, also has many lovely waterfalls. Two of which featured in Kevin Costner's movie,"Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves". One was Hardrow Force where he was showering, with Maid Marion spying on him; and the other was Aysgarth Falls where he had his famous quarter staff fight with Little John.


message 36: by Debbie (new)

Debbie Zapata Beautiful pictures, Stewart!


message 37: by Barbara, Founder and Moderator (new)

Barbara (lv2scpbk) | 1256 comments Mod
Stewart, beautiful photos and I made some comments on them. I have a question for you on the one about the movie.


message 38: by Kim (new)

Kim Hampton | 180 comments Stewart wrote: "Smart and funny squirrel. I wonder if they could be trained to do that; to get rid of Missionary Types going door to door."

LOL it probably wouldn't take much!


message 39: by Stewart, Moderator (new)

Stewart McFarlane (mcfarlane) | 147 comments Mod
Barb wrote: "Stewart, beautiful photos and I made some comments on them. I have a question for you on the one about the movie." Sure, fire away....anything on waterfalls, movies or animals...


message 40: by Barbara, Founder and Moderator (new)

Barbara (lv2scpbk) | 1256 comments Mod
Stewart wrote: "Barb wrote: "Stewart, beautiful photos and I made some comments on them. I have a question for you on the one about the movie." Sure, fire away....anything on waterfalls, movies or animals..." I have it under the photo or did. It keeps erasing them or not posting. I will check again later today.


message 41: by Stewart, Moderator (new)

Stewart McFarlane (mcfarlane) | 147 comments Mod
No, nothing on the photo comments. Mine sometimes don't appear. You can post here or send me a Goodreads message.


message 42: by Barbara, Founder and Moderator (last edited Oct 15, 2014 11:14AM) (new)

Barbara (lv2scpbk) | 1256 comments Mod
Stewart wrote: "No, nothing on the photo comments. Mine sometimes don't appear. You can post here or send me a Goodreads message."

Okay retrying this for the hum-teen time.

I had written on your photos how much I liked the area. That looks like a beautiful place and the dogs seem to be enjoying it so much.

Love the German Shepard just lying in the water.

The other photo said it was where Kevin Costner filmed. Did you get to see or meet K. Costner? I was just curious.

They filmed the movie "Unstoppable" about the runaway train in our area. Denzel Washington played in it.

My son was a security guard for the train they filmed in it. They brought the train from CA, we live in PA. He got to watch them draw the broken windshield on the train. They didn't break the window for the movie, it was painted on. And, it was so realistic. I have photos of my son standing by the train. The movie crew just left the train run about all the time instead of shutting it off.

It's neat to watch the movie and know exactly where they are.


message 43: by Stewart, Moderator (new)

Stewart McFarlane (mcfarlane) | 147 comments Mod
Yes, UNSTOPPABLE was a great movie. Good tense action. Denzil seems to specialise in those roles.No I didn't meet Kevin Costner when he was filming in North Yorkshire. I re-enacted the staff fight at Aysgarth falls with my martial arts students. We didn't do the nude showering scene in the other falls. Your son did well to get that job. I used to do security too, for his Holiness the Dalai Lama. A martial arts /scuba diving friend of mine did the security for GLADIATOR on location in Malta. He says Oliver Reed was a great guy, he would hang around with the security & technical crew. Sadly he died there in Malta when they were still filming. Russell Crowe, as the big star, was more reserved. Malta is use for many movies,as it is small with varied locations and scenery. Very good scuba diving there too.


message 44: by Stewart, Moderator (last edited Oct 26, 2014 02:48AM) (new)

Stewart McFarlane (mcfarlane) | 147 comments Mod
"Walking the Ridge, early morning in Thailand with 9 dogs".

This morning I walked on the ridge of hill country near home, by the end of Huai Yai Rd and near the 331, Southern Chonburi. The photos were taken at 7 am. I also found another new little waterfall, thanks to all the rain. Couldn't get a shot of that, wrong angle & dark in the shade.

I realised that every shot I took with dogs in; they are all female, the males were all exploring in deep cover. They do come back the the whistle, but they like to take their time if they're busy. They all know where the car is parked, well off-road down a track, and in shade, so if they get lost they wait for me at the car. Where a bowl of water is ready for them. That rarely happens, but at the end of a long walk, they like to race ahead back to the car and wait for me there.This morning we were out walking for nearly 3 hours.So I now have a pack of quiet, contented dogs sleeping and lounging around the house & garden.

The little black & white bitch who likes to stay near Daddy, is Som Ying. She thinks she's a sheepdog, and rounds up the other other four or five bitches. She has given up on the males. She is giving the other girls her sheepdog "look" in one picture.

Check out the pics in the PHOTO section....
COMPETITION TIME...Using your skill and judgement, count the number of dogs in the first shot of the photo set, "Walking the Ridge, early morning in Thailand with nine dogs"....
The prize is........ONE OF THE DOGS. ( You notice, I made sure that Pepsi, my GSD, and pack leader, is not in the shot, and is not part of this unique offer, I leave the reader to guess why. Actually the offer is more of a "Sponsorship Deal" ie the dog stays with me, but the lucky winner gets to pay its keep, and can visit anytime).

Pepsi made friends with a couple of guys on a motorcycle by the waterfall. They were armed with fearsome sharp machetes. Fortunately, they were local guys out to cut bamboo poles for fencing and slats for the bench-beds in their huts.The locals here are always friendly, and good with the dogs, even when there are 9 of them. Seeing a westerner dressed like a local, even down to the hat, sash and working knife, and commanding the dogs in Thai, gives them a laugh. Speaking Thai helps of course, as I can tell them the GSD and the rest of the pack are friendly and not dangerous. I was asking them about the bamboo poles. These are so strong that the long ones are used as scaffolding poles for building work. Bamboo groves in shaded damp areas are beautiful.Bamboo cut now in the rainy season is the strongest. My wife's nick name is "Phai" which means bamboo. She is called that because when she was born, that she was what she landed on, the bamboo slats of her mother's bed. Quite a few country people in Thailand are called,"Phai"; you guessed it, they were born the same way.


message 45: by Barbara, Founder and Moderator (new)

Barbara (lv2scpbk) | 1256 comments Mod
Stewart, I believe I counted six dogs in your photo. You can pm me to let me know if it's right if you want so others have a chance to count too.

Clearly Pepsi is your favorite. Looks like a highly intelligent dog. Beautiful for sure. But, I love all dogs. I don't think there will ever be a dog I don't like. I wish I could rescue them all but I know that would be impossible.

I really love the looks of bamboo. It's really pretty. I guess that would make a good bed to lie on when having babies.

And, you're too funny about us paying for the up keep of your dog. I would love to if I had lots of money. But, since I don't, I guess you're still on your own. LOL.


message 46: by Edward (new)

Edward Jr. | 17 comments Stewart, that hike along the ridge with your dogs was a great way to start the day. The path looks well traveled and the dogs look like they are in heaven especially since leashes were not necessary. Total canine freedom and happiness.


message 47: by Stewart, Moderator (new)

Stewart McFarlane (mcfarlane) | 147 comments Mod
Thanks for the comments & input Barb & Edward. When I find a good stand of bamboo with lighting right, I'll take some photos. I know some good locations already.

My dogs are lucky. I believe in giving them as much freedom and exercise off leash, as is possible and safe for them; so getting off road and well away from traffic is essential.They get a walk like this every morning, a minimum of 90 mins, usually 2-3 hours. Always off leash, free running,swimming etc.Walking 8-9 dogs off leash is fun; even the adventurous ones who like to disappear, can find the pack again, just picking their scent. To a dog, a another dog's scent is going to be stronger than that of a human.I sometimes experiment by not whistling and calling in the wanderers, just to see if it makes any difference. They find us anyway. My pack usually get an hour's walk before dark too, quite often off leash, depending on where we go.

I like to discover new routes & locations,and then map them.
I often say that I don't so much take them walks, we have daily adventures together. Yesterday as we walked by a huge rubber tree plantation, the dogs discovered the hut of the rubber tapper and his family, two kids and two puppies. So Pepsi of course befriended the family and their puppies. Not sure who looked more malnourished, the kids or the dogs.

By contrast, just a few hundred yards from this plantation there is an elite Polo Club, with bridle paths,where the ponies are exercised. Pepsi, like most big, confident dogs, loves horses, so if there are no nervous riders or kids learning, he can can mix with the horses. I usually leash the other dogs or make them stay back in the trees, as Pepsi seems to be the horse specialist. The contrast in life styles between the rich Polo pony riders and the poor rubber tapper is very striking.

Most suburban Thais are not aware of the idea of walking with dogs and getting them exercise, activity and mental stimulation, so they are never walked. Many owned dogs are confined to yards and gardens, or even cages, by lazy and ignorant owners.I feel even more sorry for these poor dogs than the wandering strays. Middle class Thais are worse for this than country folks. In the country, at least some of the farm dogs get to ride in the back of pick-up trucks or flat bed motorcycle side cars, so they are getting out with their owners. Yard dogs, never seem to get any attention, stimulation or even talked to. I find this very sad and very cruel.


message 48: by Stewart, Moderator (new)

Stewart McFarlane (mcfarlane) | 147 comments Mod
On dogs and freedom....Merle's Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog by Ted Kerasote, is an important book, because the author tried to create the greatest degree of freedom for his dog, Merle. He acquired Merle while on a long range hike, and the dog trailed him, and he tried to make Merle's life as unfettered as possible. I love that book. The dog's intelligence and adaptability shines through.
Here in Thailand I can't let my dogs wander away from the house unsupervised, as the traffic and poor driving is just too dangerous; as well as the threat of dog thieves, supplying the dog meat and skin trade.But I do give them maximum freedom on a walks in the wild country, away from roads and predatory people. They also have decent sized customized garden, with a large sandy base play area, where they can dog and run, and a concrete cooling area, with dens and platforms and plenty of shade from the sun and protection from the rain.I have seats and benches out there too, so we can sit and hang out with the dogs.


message 49: by Edward (new)

Edward Jr. | 17 comments Stewart- I am going to check out the book that you have recommended- Merle's Door- it sounds very interesting. I admire the way you have organized your dog's lives giving them the freedom and also the protection that they need during the day. You and your pets would have been a welcome addition to my veterinary practice. Keep up the good work. Ed


message 50: by Skye (new)

Skye | 193 comments I loved Merle's Door. I believe it came out in 06 and some trainers were up in arms about it because it doesn't depict the average dog's environment. But I still loved it. I also liked Pukka, The Dog That Came After Merle. And the author has also written a book about dog health.


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