Country Life celebrates Britain’s Worst Behaved Pets.I think this one’s the winner.
It’s awkward enough having your pet swipe other people’s meals, but it is quite another matter when they consume each other — especially in public. During one now legendary Sunday lunch hosted by the late Maj Tim Riley of Blencowe, Cumbria, his black labrador slunk into the dining room, where he proceeded to sick up a cat under a sideboard. Without breaking the conversation, Maj Riley got up and deftly placed his napkin over the remains. It had, we are told, a really bushy tail.
The neighborhood around Howard University in D.C. has been improving, i.e. more whites are moving in, and white residents have taken to walking their dogs on the University’s grassy campus.
Howard students have freaked out over this horrible invasion of Black space, and complaints about “gentrification,” “colonization,” and memories of bloodhounds pursuing Little Eva and police dogs barking at demonstrators in Birmingham are flying.
Last Friday, the President of Howard issued a statement discouraging bringing dogs, other than service animals, onto the private university’s “beautiful,sacred space that provides comfort and, in many ways, sanctuary.” Meaning sanctuary from people with insufficient melanin.
Black news and cultural sites today are filled with expressions of the most extreme sorts of group chauvinism and racial animosity related to this story. One example
Hussar, enormous Taigan puppy, just about in my lap.
We have two: Uhlan, a 9-year-old Tazy (a breed of sighthound from Kazakhstan) and Hussar, a one-year-old Taigan (a breed of sighthound from Kyrgysztan, a member of the first litter born in North America). (I have friends who are into weird dogs.)
The tazy is significantly smaller, but smarter and a lot more feral. Uhlan has all the unspoiled-by-civilization-and-domestication wildness and complete lack of subordination that crazy sighthound fanatics particularly prize.
The taigan is huge, black, and goofy. He is a lummox with no sense whatsover of how much space he takes up and no regard for human property. He is fanatically playful, in the manner of a puppy, and he loves to fetch and retrieve dog toys.
The tazy is like the Dragon Smaug in The Hobbit. He considers all dog toys his and will collect them and then sit gloating over the pile of them.
Smaug’s greed recently reached a new peak. When he hears the impact of a toy I’ve thrown for the puppy, Smaug will deliberately come downstairs, confiscate the toy, and remove it to his hoard upstairs.
Last night, Karen and I were watching a movie, and the puppy wanted to play, so he brought over the flat, entirely disemboweled rag that was once some kind of stuffed animal. Karen and I were distracted by the movie, so Uhlan’s sudden arrival was overlooked. A violent dog tussle and spinning canine tornado erupted in front of us, which quickly took hold of the power cord of my brand-new $1500 laptop PC, yanking it right off the table and hurling it to the floor.
The new Lenovo survived, but the male end of the power cord was twisted and bent. Last night, I thought it still made an electrical connection, but I was wrong. That cord is as dead as Fogarty’s goat.
I ordered a replacement last night. $47.00 and change, discounted from Amazon. It’s due to arrive tomorrow. Meanwhile, I’m back on my older, slower machine.
If anybody is planning any medical experiments, I know where he can get a couple of dogs.
It is also monsooning here and satellite Internet is out a great deal. Blogging will be light.
It is a standard hazard of life in Appalachia that, in mid-to-late April, Ursus Americanus, the native, killed-off-by-the-pioneers-but-returned-by-the-conservationists Black Bear wakes up hungry from his winter slumbers and embarks on a temporary annual reign of terror, leaving no bird feeders or garbage cans left outside safe.
It must have been a young, apprentice bear who showed up Tuesday night. He could not bend the pole reinforced-with-rebar that holds up two feeders, and he was also foiled by the sturdy pipe holding the much-bear-destroyed-and-then-always-repaired ancient red feeder that predates our 30-year ownership of the farm. He merely bent down the un-reinforced, limber pole, pushed open the bottom of the tall, tin feeder with his nose, and inhaled its sunflower seed contents.
He must have taken bear lessons before he returned Wednesday. The rebar-reinforced pole was bent. The pipe pole was pushed so hard that its cement base was tilted out of the ground, and a piece of board from the bottom of the old red feeder was artfully removed. Every single feeder was emptied.
All this criminal activity on Tuesday and Wednesday nights took place discreetly late at night after the humans and dogs had gone to bed.
Last night was different. Karen and I were sitting here, around 9:30, watching a movie on tv. The ten-month-old Taigan puppy was outside exploring. Suddenly, the door flew open, in came the puppy who ran all the way across the room to a position of comparative safety on the stairs at the far end of the room before he began barking.
This puppy has been notoriously unperturbable. Nothing has seemed to intimidate him previously. Certainly, not me. Not even his older brother, Uhlan, who once sent him to the vet for stitches.
So, I got up, took the loaded Model 629 from the bookcase by the door, stepped outside and applied a little .44-caliber fumigation to the general vicinity.
Amusingly, both dogs were still leery and looking around carefully last night and again this morning.
There was one small (mildly appalling) denouement. This morning the puppy was out running around for the second time, and after a bit came trotting down the slope from behind the cabin with something black in his mouth. “He’s playing with another black walnut from last fall.” I thought. But, no, he sat down, and I saw it was too large. He had found himself, and was dissecting and devouring, a black bear turd.
Science News reports recent analysis proves dogs have lived with humans in North America longer than previously supposed and that the genetics of some dogs kept by early inhabitants of North America have not survived to the present day.
Radiocarbon dating of the dogsâ€™ bones shows they were 1,500 years older than thought, zooarchaeologist Angela Perri said April 13 at the annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. The previous age estimate was based on a radiocarbon analysis of burned wood found in one of the animalsâ€™ graves. Until now, nearly 9,300-year-old remains of dogs eaten by humans at a Texas site were the oldest physical evidence of American canines.
Ancient dogs at the Midwestern locations also represent the oldest known burials of individual dogs in the world, said Perri, of Durham University in England. A dog buried at Germanyâ€™s Bonn-Oberkassel site around 14,000 years ago was included in a two-person grave. Placement of the Americas dogs in their own graves indicates that these animals were held in high regard by ancient people.
An absence of stone tool incisions on the three ancient dogsâ€™ skeletons indicates that they were not killed by people, but died of natural causes before being buried, Perri said. …
She and her colleagues studied two of three dogs excavated at the Koster site in the 1970s and a dog unearthed at Stilwell II in 1960. These sites lie about 30 kilometers apart in west-central Illinois.
Perriâ€™s team found that the lower jaws and teeth of the Stilwell II dog and one Koster dog displayed some similarities to those of modern wolves. Another Koster dogâ€™s jaw shared some traits with present-day coyotes, possibly reflecting some ancient interbreeding.
A new genetic analysis positions the 10,000-year-old Illinois dogs in a single lineage that initially populated North America. Dog origins are controversial, but may date to more than 20,000 years ago (SN Online: 7/18/17). Ancient American dogs, including the Koster and Stilwell II animals, shared a common genetic ancestor, cell biologist Kelsey Witt Dillon of the University of California, Merced reported April 13 at the SAA meeting. That ancestor originated roughly 15,000 years ago after diverging from a closely related Siberian dog population about 1,000 years earlier, she said.
Dillonâ€™s team, which includes Perri, studied 71 complete mitochondrial genomes and seven nuclear genomes of dogs from more than 20 North American sites, ranging in age from 10,000 to 800 years ago. Mitochondrial DNA is typically inherited from the mother, whereas nuclear DNA comes from both parents.
Much of the genetic blueprint of those ancient dogs is absent in present-day canines, Dillon said. Only a small number of U.S. and Asian dogs share maternal ancestry with ancient American dogs, suggesting the arrival of European breeds starting at least several hundred years ago reshaped dog DNA in the Americas, she proposed.