Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Arecibo Animal Activists Meet With Mayor's Office

Local Animal Activists met outside Arecibo City Hall on Monday August 25th to protest the rounding up and killing of street dogs without so much as a time for owners to claim their pet from the pound. Activist leaders meet with the Vice Mayor to discuss a moratorium on collecting dogs in areas where rescuers are working on trap, neuter and release programs to curb birth rates in dog populations, and what is the latest story about the public Arecibo Animal Control Shelter.

Inside the government officials gave their requirements for co-operating with the activists to not collect and euthanize colonies of dogs being cared for by the activists.
Outside a hard working cadre of activists spoke to people passing City Hall asking if they supported mass killing of animals living on the streets or if they supported a more humane way such as tarp, neuter and release.

Citizens on the street supported the humane treatment of animals by signing the petition.
The activist leaders questioned the current status of the Arecibo Animal Control Shelter, which has sat vacant for the last four years. Talk continues about the reopening of the shelter.

On a personal note, I have to tell you how impressed I was with the strength and heart of the dedicated people I met in Arecibo on Monday. I salute you for your effort. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Play Behavior

My finger isn’t on the pulse of a damn thing. The quality of dog training in the last decade has increased tremendously. I’m retired, so I don’t write so much about training or life style with dog issues any more. Plenty of fine people do that.
Having said that, I’m about to talk to you about living with dogs and what I believe the dogs like because I’ve been reading stuff that says adult dogs don’t like to play, that we’re treating them like furry humans and that’s wrong, that we’re imposing play on them because we really want to play.
Yes, some dogs get over stimulated in day care; that is a management issue. That doesn’t mean a dog shouldn’t play with others. Is it an individual choice or a behavioral limitation? I’d say yes on both counts; how about you?
Does this dog need behavioral counselling? Only if it’s important to you that the dog do something it’s not currently comfortable with or good at? If it’s an issue for the human, it’s an issue.
Please, don’t try to tell me that adult dogs don’t play, that they only play because we want them to or expect it of them. Even if that were the case, so what?
Dogs that are reasonably well nourished and not in pain play in the cool of the evening here in the country, where they have room to run. Dogs seek safe play companions.
Robert "Red" Redford

Nobody wants to play with Blondie unless she’s extremely solicitous. The boys Lucky and Robert Redford play together or with Chi-Ping and she gets bitchy if they’re too rough with her, so they play best with each other. Lucky gets in Red’s face when he gets carried away. Blondie can be a real asshole when she gets pissed so she has to show a lot of play face and soliciting behavior before they play with her.
In the morning, they lineup to go hunting with her, so it’s not that they don’t want anything to do with her.
The dogs here play when they want to because I rarely do anything other than live with them. I am a totally non fun human being, but when I am fun they love it. They show off how they can run. They compete for my attention.
As long as they know my ground rules, the satos on the hill do what they want.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Sato Hill Dog Day

Lizards, rats and mice beware the sato hill gang hunts at dawn. After a night sprawled on easy chairs and the sofa sleeping safely with nary a care, they’re ready to go.
They get kibble twice a day, so hunger isn’t a primary motivator, unless you count taste bud preferences.
The morning air fresh and cool calls them to stretch, look for a pet and then head to the door. Some morning furious sniffing near the house is required. Who came on our porch? Where are they? Who do we kill for this trespass? And on the trail they go.
Other mornings, if I step on the veranda with them, the dogs all come up for a pet goodbye and off they go to work. They each want their “kiss” before going. Even Blondie, who would bolt up the road in hot pursuit in previous years, must have a little love before she leads the hunt. Now that Lucky and Robert Redford are older they wait only to say goodbye to “mom.”
They’re very good boys that way, which drives Chi-Ping nuts. She guards her position as beta and alpha wanna a be. She has trained them since puppyhood to back down to her muzzle snapping and snarling; oddly enough, they still do in many instances. Other times they’re so focused on what they want, that they don’t even notice her. Poor girl.
The gang returns a couple of hours later or when I serve breakfast. Late morning through the heat of the day, they’re reclined like vacationers under the fans.
The boys were dropped off here as puppies, so this is the life they know. Chi-Ping knew about a year as a street dog. Blondie grew up in the street, where she spent years as an un-loved perra de calle. I see how each is affected by life experience. That’s the ability to handle each dog in such a way that nothing over stresses the dog.
Each of these dogs are so vastly different. Anthropomorphically I feel like I have two seventh grade boys, a precocious spoiled brat, and a big moody teenager.
Those of us who become aware of our dogs personalities enjoy them as individuals, not just the dogs. And about the human traits, I’m kidding. Chi isn’t precocious, she’s more like a little old lady accustomed to her own way.
Enjoy your day!

May dogs be with you!!