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Let's compare weather! > Thurs. Jan. 22, 2009 - What's YOUR weather?

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message 1: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Glens Falls, NY - Thurs. Jan. 22, 2009
Temp at 8:07AM ... 21°F (-6°C)

Today: Scattered flurries before noon.
Mostly cloudy, with a high near 29.
Southwest wind around 9 mph.

Tonight: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 12.
Southwest wind around 6 mph becoming calm.

message 2: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 6324 comments We're supposed to get into the upper 30's today, I think. It was in the mid 20's when I left the house this morning. Heat wave!

It was in the low 20's last night when an idiot skunk decided to jump into our field, through the fence just behind the barn. Of course, it had to do it right in front of Marg & the girls. They went after it & Marg couldn't call them off. So we spent the evening washing dogs with shampoo, then baking soda & vinegar.

Poor Molly is too big to fit in the tackroom sink, so I washed her in the barn's wash area. It's outside, but has hot & cold spigots. She was very unhappy when I poured the cold vinegar on her, though.

Marg put the JRT's in the sink & got them washed up. Molly & Harley had to dry off in the tackroom - banished from the house. Amber got to come in because she was very chilled & is due to have pups at the end of the week.

The last skunk encounter we had was the beginning of September. One got into the back yard. Not long enough ago, for me. We made the girls sleep in crates in the living room. No sleeping in bed for them last night. The house wasn't bad this morning. Still, dinner was 'fend for yourself when you think you can eat'.

message 3: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Poor dogs and poor you, Jim! Hope the lingering odor disappears soon.

That happened to our dog and somehow our kids acquired the odor about them. When we went to church that Sunday, they brought the odor with them. The people around us had to suffer with us. :) We used tomato juice on the dog to try to get rid of the smell but it wasn't very effective.

The following websites give info about this problem and suggest ways to get rid of the odor:

Sounds like you did the right thing, Jim.

message 4: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 6324 comments A friend of ours says she might have a better shampoo to use, but there is no doubt that rubbing in the baking soda & then a good rinse with vinegar does the trick better than most things. The acid helps strip the oil off the hair & the foam made when the two meet really helps.

Unfortunately, we're getting experienced with this. We've had the problem before a couple of times over several decades, but in MD, for most of that time, the skunk population was very low. Rabies hit them hard. Also, our dogs way back when weren't terriers. Here in KY, skunks seem to be doing just fine & we have terriers, which are blood thirsty idiots. It's a rodent-like critter on their territory & must die!

I almost felt sorry for Amber. Apparently she got a mouthful. She was drooling like crazy & the drool stunk to high heaven. Unfortunately, she's the most brainless of them all. If it hadn't been for her, Marg might have gotten them called off in time.

message 5: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Oh, poor Amber! I feel for her.

Interesting about the terriers being "blood thirsty idiots". (g) I notice that our Maltese, Romeo, always looks like he's stalking when he's outside. He walks in a crouch with his nose to the ground. I think he must have a strong sense of smell and knows there are critters in the backyard or under the ground. We suspect that Romeo is a mix-breed even though he was sold to us as a Maltese with a certificate from the American Canine Assn. His snout, legs, and body are slightly longer than our former Maltese.

You can see him here: ====>
and here: ====>
(The above pic shows how long his torso is.)

We often wonder if he's part poodle.

message 6: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 6324 comments When I saw the picture of Romeo, I had to look up the breed, because it didn't match the picture I had in my head. I thought they had long, flowing hair to the floor. According to this site:
they should. The site also says, "This ancient dog was described by the Greek philosopher Theophrastus as belonging to the "Melita" breed, an archaic name for Malta. It was developed in Italy with the addition of miniature spaniel and poodle blood." Looks to me like Romeo got an extra shot of poodle somewhere in the family tree - for the good. His hair looks a lot more practical than the picture on the site. Here's another site:

I've never been much of a fan of pure blood dogs, their breeders, the shows or their parent organizations. What the AKC has done to German Shepards is plain animal cruelty. They decided to breed for a certain gait & they've bred them for a curved back & underslung legs that is just disgusting. Mom had to really search to keep finding stud dogs that were of German rather than American breeding.

The AKC & their horrible standards have bred many breeds into ridiculous configurations & health problems. Collies & Dobermans went so far toward narrow heads they became worthless as real dogs. Labs are really two breeds now; short stocky show dogs & leaner, rangy hunting dogs. Hip displacia, seizures & all kinds of rotten recessives are showing up in the popular breeds. It's the worst thing that can happen to a breed, getting popular.

message 7: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 6324 comments Our dogs, the Jack Russells are mutts, although most are registered. There's a real mess - JRT registry. The JRT Society pitched such a fit that the AKC's version is called the Parson Russell. Amber is one of the latter. But JRT/Parson Russells are mutts, no matter what anyone tells you. It will be years before they become a pure breed.

Parson Jack Russell was actually breeding Fox Terriers in the 1800's & Jack Russells were the failures, as I understand it. Until the mid 1970's there wasn't any organization for them in the US. They're kind of like POA's (Ponies of America) or Apoloosas - they needed to match a certain physical description to be one, at least until they closed the registry. I think the AKC one might still be open.

During the 'open season' JRTs were bred with beagles, corgi, poodle & god knows what for various traits. The breed standard is anywhere from 8" up 15" in height, can have most any kind of coat & come in a variety of colors, although it has to be white, it can have liver &/or black markings - some have so few as to be almost pure white. Here's a site with their info:

Occasionally breeding two of these mutts together will come up with some real oddities. Our old man & Erin's JRT, both 11" registerd JRT's, had the weirdest litter. One puppy stole another's legs in the womb. Honest! There were 4 pups. One had the body of an 11" dog, but was only about 8" tall - very short legs. Two were normal 11" JRT's. One is 15" tall & well proportioned. One of the normal ones is a rough coat, all the rest were smooth. One was white with black, another white with liver, the other two were tri-colors; white with both liver & black. Not a pair we ever wanted to breed together again! We've never seen that kind of size difference in a litter before. The coloring & hair types always seem to vary.

We've been breeding a litter most every year for the past 15 & going to race meets & shows with them. The kids loved it. The shows were fun things with the usual obedience classes & such, but also costume classes, go-to-ground & hurdle races &, best of all, the agility class.

message 8: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Jim wrote: "I thought they had long, flowing hair to the floor."

Jim, Romeo would have long hair if we didn't keep him in a puppy cut. If we didn't keep going to the groomer to have his hair cut, his hair would keep growing and if I didn't comb it everyday, it would become terribly matted. It takes daily grooming to keep Maltese looking like they do at the dog shows.

As for the unfortunate breeding practices you mentioned, that is very sad indeed.

message 9: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Jim wrote: [The Maltese breed:] "was developed in Italy with the addition of miniature spaniel and poodle blood."

Thanks for the links, Jim. That is VERY interesting about Maltese having some poodle blood. It may well indeed explain why Romeo looks like he does. Our other Maltese, jorji, had shorter legs and a shorter body. So perhaps he had less poodle in him.
Here are some pics of jorji:
(This last one shows what he looked like when we let his hair grow a bit... too messy and hard to maintain.)

At one of the links you posted, it says that Maltese "may descend from Spitz or an Asian breed such as the Tibetan Terrier."

Yes, I had heard they were descended from terriers of some sort.

The link also said: "Maltese may have been used to hunt rodents before their royal appearance became paramount."

Ah! That tells me why Romeo often walks like he does, crouching with his nose to the ground! Our other Maltese, jorji, didn't do that as much.

message 10: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 6324 comments You're smart to clip them. That long hair looks like it would be a real pain to keep up with. I found it interesting how little they shed with that long hair. That's a poodle thing - the difference between hair & fur, I think. I think I heard somewhere that any dog that has hair - doesn't shed - has poodle in its background.

I'm not an expert on it. I absorb a lot of this from the girls watching Animal Planet a lot. I generally read & soak in stray emissions.

Marg thinks we might have to clip Pixie, the new pup, when she gets older. She has a thick, almost double coat. Great for this time of year, but might not work in the summer. We'll see.

message 11: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Post a pic of Pixie when you get a chance. (Perhaps you already have, but I can't keep track of all your dogs.) (g) How old is Pixie now? Is she a Jack Russell Terrier?

message 12: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Jim wrote: "We've never seen that kind of size difference in a litter before."

It must be interesting to see the difference in all the puppies which come from one litter. Breeding must be a fascinating business. That's the part of the "Sawtelle" book which might have interested you. In the story they said that the breeder had paperwork on each dog going back years and years, tracing the specific dogs they descended from and all their traits.

Detailed individual records like these are probably kept for all thorobred animals. It's especially important for race horses, I suppose, and for all serious breeders of any animals. I had never thought about the record-keeping necessary in the breeding business. It must get very complicated keeping track of traits.

message 13: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 6324 comments Pics of Pixie are here, the top 2:

Breeding is fascinating, in some ways, with some things. We're not really pro dog breeders, just one litter a year to pay for the hay. Mostly we had the dogs around for the kids & Marg. They loved the shows, especially agility classes. I made all the equipment so we can setup & do our own. Here's a picture of what it's like.

Training the dog to run over the obstacles, a teeter-totter, sit on a platform, climb the A frame & such is good training for both person & dog. The kids loved it.

message 14: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Jim wrote: "They loved the shows, especially agility classes. I made all the equipment so we can setup & do our own. Here's a picture of what it's like."

Jim, that page (with the dogs doing all their agility runs) looks like so much fun! They even make ME want to exercise. The dogs must love it.

Poor Romeo. I haven't trained him to do anything except stand on his hind legs and turn around for a treat. I think that comes natural for this breed. BTW, Chicken Nibbles are the best treat. All our kids say their dogs love them, as does Romeo. See them here: ====>
They're the size of small coins, not too fattening.

I remember the pic of Pixie now. She is so cute! Those black markings on her eye and ears are so comical. She's precious.

message 15: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 6324 comments Yes, the agility is a blast. I made up all the equipment one year & painted it. We set it up in the old barn now a few times a year for them to practice.

The races are also fun. If you ever get a chance, you can see them occasionally on Animal Planet. A zigzag course with a lure that the dogs chase over hurdles. At the shows, it's generally a straight line race - nothing that fancy.

Amber took champion or reserve at a couple of shows this year for the under 12" division. She's fast & very competitive (aggressive). They race in muzzles. The rule is whoever gets into the hole first wins. (It's a hole made by hay bales.) Amber leaped one time, landed on & ran over another dog to squeeze in a win. She doesn't play fair - just to win!

message 16: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Jim wrote: "A zigzag course with a lure that the dogs chase over hurdles."

Oh! So it's a lure which makes the dogs keep running. I always wondered how they could be trained to do that.

It was a good idea, your making agility equipment for your dogs. They're lucky to have owners so interested in keeping them active.

I just checked our TV schedule. Animal Planet is Channel #51. I'll keep my eye on it.

message 17: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 6324 comments At home & for most small races, we just use half a bicycle with just the rim of the tire. Some put an electric motor on it, but we'd just peddle (I had it mounted upside down on a board.) You put a long piece of string with a lure (I generally just used a squirrel's tail) tied to it & a pulley at the far end - a big loop. The bicycle rim is your motive pulley. Put the dog in a box & peddle like crazy as the gate opens. It pulls the lure through the hole in the hay & the dogs run in after it.

I never made a real racing box. We'd just hold the dogs for practice, although we did use their crates once. That's better. Amber got slowed down because of running into the door a couple of times.

The rest of the equipment is easy to make. We have plastic electric fence posts for temporary fencing & bending poles. The rest is just old lumber I picked up along the way. Works great. No super carpentry involved. Paint was cheap. I just got a couple of gallons of stuff that was mixed incorrectly from the local hardware store. Added some play sand to some of it for traction.

message 18: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Jan 23, 2009 12:57PM) (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments That's interesting, Jim. Thanks for explaining.
I'm sure the dogs learn the game fast.

There's nothing like the ole "carrot on a stick" idea.
Now they call it "Behavior Modification". LOL

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