Sunday, November 30, 2014

Dogs Dumped in the Night

Terrified yips and screams reply to angry barks and snaps, as local dogs defend their spots from interlopers, dogs dumped by owners in occupied territory. At little after three in the morning the Sato Hill Gang joins the fray as the hapless discards are pushed up the hill towards the biggest, toughest pack in the valley.
Blondie, a bull of a bitch is now backed by Robert Redford, the large golden a deep bark and solid bite. Lucky, the elegant pit works himself into a frenzy in a hunt or a fight. Chi-Ping in typical terrier style stirs up trouble. The Sato Hill Gang are a pack; they live together and hunt together.
Two houses south of ours, the pursuing defenders pushing the lost dog north are stopped. Blondie’s sharp barks, followed by painful bites elicit cries, while the boys back the locals down the hill. The din in the night retreats, but doesn’t stop for the poor dogs some unthinking human tossed out on a country road.
The attacks continue as dogs defend their spots, when the trespassers become trapped between two groups of powerful dogs they can be killed in the night or so weaken they die within days. If fortunate, the newbies may be accepted somewhere along the road.
This is one of the harsh realities for abandoned pets in Puerto Rico. Over the years with different dogs I’ve heard the same sounds and occasionally seen the aftermath.
This is nature’s way of dealing with man’s stupidity.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Nightmare = Tropics, Fleas and Ticks

Fleas, ticks + tropics = Nightmare
On the island of Puerto Rico I’ve noticed that some of the low coastal areas are more heavily infected than the rural area where I live. Sad to say I never saw a tick on the dogs here before we came back from a visit to the coast.
Stormy, Blondie and the various other street dogs, which have been thru here, from time to time had fungal infections for which we bathed and powdered, but never saw a tick.
The first time I brought the dogs to the coast, they came back loaded. In my whole professional career in Illinois I never saw so many ticks on a dog; and I’m freaky phobic about insects.
Bathing them with a flea and tick shampoo killed some and weaken the rest of the ticks so I could pluck without hurting the dogs as much. Their shin crawled as I pulled one after another. Mine crawled too cause I can’t stand those buggers.
Let me not forget that I applied Frontline shortly after the bath. Ticks seemed to be everywhere, still on the dogs, in the house and on the porch.
My dogs are my only companions. I take them as many places as I can; they also come in my house.
I cleaned the house inside and out with a flea and tick insecticide from Pet Smart and the Frontline kicked in, so I didn’t see ticks for about a month at which time we re-apply.
Recently we took a road trip to the coast. Robert Redford, my biggest came home with ears full of ticks. Blondie and Chi-Ping had some and Lucky has none. Frontline was applied to all dogs two weeks before their trip.
Bathing the dogs with flea shampoo, re-applying Frontline, and chemical disinfection of premises will restore balance here, but why didn’t the Frontline work? Were some ticks resistant to the chemicals contained?
Should I be rotating what I use, so ticks don’t develop immunity?
 A completely different chemical family would be best to rotate with, so what’s best?  
Any contra indications that these products be used in conjunction with the other?
What would be the best rotation schedule, and why?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Back Home on Sato Hill

We just returned from a road trip to Auntie Adri’s in Carolina. Once home the gang banged down the hill to check out the status of the neighborhood.
Given how late in the day, I planned to let them fast through the night and feed breakfast. Kibble stays in the gut up to fourteen hours, so a fast is good for them.
Blondie and Chi settled on the sofa, Robert Redford and Lucky in the chairs. Seemed like the right plan, until Lucky trotted through the house with the measuring cup in his mouth, the cup I use to scoop his dog food. He came into the back bedroom, dropped the cup in my lap and returned to the kitchen to sit by the bag of dog food, where the others joined him.
The dogs had spoken. Nonverbal communication reigned. Over dinner Robert Redford commented how smart a human I was to be able to relate the scoop with it being time to eat.  Chi mentioned how difficult human training is in general.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Dog and Cat Difference

Difference between my dogs and Smoki, my cat is:

The dogs stare at my food with a pitiful look that says,

“Please, share your food.”

The cat stares into my eyes with an outraged look saying,

“That’s my food; why are you keeping it from me?!”

P.S. For scientific types, the take away is the dogs stare at the food, the cat stares in my eye.

Anthropomorphizing is just too much fun.