Friday, May 31, 2013

Coffee and Provocation

That's a Really Good Dog Trainer!
Some dog trainers are so good they can even train their dogs to get a university degree

Pit Bull Owner Faces Murder Charges
A Pit Bull owner is finally charged with murder.  The bail is over $1 million.

PeTA -- Animal Kevorkians Running a Direct Mail Mill
PETA is reported to be asking a court to give it the personal information, email addresses, phone numbers, and other data for three bloggers who reacted to an April 2 posting by a no-kill shelter advocate. It seems one of the bloggers called PETA “animal Kevorkians.” So?  And what is untrue about that?  Nothing!  Apparently PeTA is upset that articles in the press have accused the organization of killing over 90 percent of the dogs and cats at their Virginia "shelter".  But so what?  That's true! As for PeTA's lawyers, they are a bunch of fools. No one fears them; they are a joke.  

💩  New York
Sam Penix’s right fist has a knuckle tattoo which reads:  “I [coffee cup] N Y.”  The bold red coffee cup looks nothing like a heart, and the rest is common English, but that has not stopped the over-lawyered, stupid-on-a-stick troglodytes at the New York State Department of Economic Development from suing Mr. Penix for advertising his Everyman's Expresso coffee shop.  They say Mr. Penix's slogan, "I [coffee cup] NY" is an infringement of the "I NY" logo.   Right.  Time to rebrand the state then:  💩  New York.   The Unicode for a pile of dog poo is:  Alt +1F4A9.  And, for the record, the New York State Department of Economic Development is supposed to be HELPING small businesses, like Mr. Penix's coffee shop, not trying to shut them down.

Isle Royal Wolves Have No Pups
The wolves of Isle Royal may have finally tumbled down the genetic bottleneck to oblivion, as this year they had no pups, likely due to infecundity due to inbreeding.

Channel Island Fox are Roaring Back
The Channel Island Fox, an island dwarf species related to the Gray Fox, has roared back from just 85-130 individuals in 1999.  Today, the species is on the verge of a dramatic recovery — one of the fastest population growth curves in the history of the Endangered Species Act — with nearly 2,500 of them now on the Channel Islands.  The resurgence of the Channel Island Fox is due to the shooting and extirpation of feral pigs that drew Golden Eagles to the island, the trapping and removal of Golden Eagles to the interior mainland, and the return of Bald Eagles which have traditionally called the Island home and kept it free of Golden Eagles.  Note that while 8 deeply inbred wolves on Isle Royal (see previous squib) with only one alpha male and one alpha female mating each year is probably a program for extinction of that species on that island, a population of 88 genetically heterogeneous Channel Fox, in which every male and female can pair off like rabbits, results in a very different situation. 

Smart Meets Stupid and Hilarity Ensues


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Away in the Manger

The Stocks

I was reading a bit about Colonial law and punishment. 

Over on the history web site of Colonial Williamsburg, they tell of the fellow who was commissioned to make a new set of wooden stocks for the City of Boston.  The fellow who was commissioned for the job, however, dramatically over-charged for it (it seems that ripping off the Government is a very old game), and the local magistrates hit him with treble damages and they also... wait for it... put him in the stocks he had just built as punishment.


That was a good story, but the tale that raised an eyebrow and made it into water-cooler conversation at work was this little gem:

Sex was of particular concern. Outlawed were masturbation, fornication, adultery, sodomy, buggery, and every other sexual practice that inched off the line of straight sex as approved by the Bible. The term "sodomy" was applied to homosexual behavior; "buggery" to bestiality.

Punishment for such serious sexual crimes could be severe. Thomas Granger of Plymouth, a boy of seventeen or so, was indicted in 1642 for buggery "with a mare, a cow, two goats, five sheep, two calves and a turkey." Granger was hanged; the animals, for their part in the affair, were executed according to the law, Leviticus 20.15, and "cast into a great and large pit that was digged for the purpose for them, and no use was made of any part of them."

After reading this to a co-worker, his response was classic: "A Turkey?!"

Yep, a cow, two goats, five sheep and two calves barely stopped the brain. It took a turkey to break the deal!

As for punishing animals for the crimes of their masters, think nothing of it. It still goes on, as anyone who has ever walked the cold-hard floors of a kill kennel can tell you.

Dogs on the Railroads: Then and Now

George Earl is famous for his paintings of sporting events and animals, particularly dogs.  The picture shown above (click to enlarge) is entitled "Going North, Kings Cross Station," and was done in 1893.  It shows a shooting party waiting for the 10 am train to Scotland. The scene takes place in the East Hall of Kings Cross Station, and the travelers are upper class passengers and servants with hunting and sporting equipment, including dogs.

"Going South, Perth Station," was painted in 1895, and shows the same party returning home via the Perth railroad station, complete with pelts, grouse, and even a set of antlers. Look carefully, and you will see some of the same people (and perhaps dogs) in both paintings.

In the U.S., for unexplained reasons, pet and hunting dogs are not allowed on trains, not even in travel carriers. A new bill to correct that has recently been introduced. The "Pets on Trains Act of 2013" would allow small dogs on passenger trains as carry-on luggage, with larger dogs allowed to ride in the cargo hold in larger travel crates.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The long and winding road

I had such a wonderful time on the 1500km trip from home to Tricia's. I got up at 12.30am, had a cup of tea and a crumpet, organised myself and drove out the driveway at 1.45am, heading south. The trip to the Gold Coast, which usually takes two hours, took only 90 minutes at that hour and by the time I reached the southern end of the Gold Coast it was 3.30. I pulled over and had a walk around

Graduation 2013 NYC

Where to start?
So much crammed into 5 days.
Bear with me, so I can tell
local friends and bloggie friends.

Arrived on Tuesday to face humidity that
curled brillo padded my hair, and ran rivulets down my back.
Wednesday was Yankee Stadium Graduation
 for the entire university and on the walk there I met
Blake for the first time.

After a sardine packed train 
where I had stranger's body parts
 pressed against mine for 40 minutes, 
we arrived at the stadium 
and I met up with parents of roommates
 to sit in nose bleed seats and weep in unison.
The graduates don't walk, they stand as a group
 according to their schools and we all go crazy.

What happens when there are 40,000 students
 in a university, and 1/4th of them are graduating.
You meet in Yankee Stadium.

How cute is this?
This was their first
Yankee Stadium

Some Tisch friends

The large group split up after the ceremony and 
Blake and Hannah decided they
wanted not to go fancy, but to go to their favorite
Pies N Thighs for lunch.
While there, Ben checked in, he had flown in the day before,
and he and Anam were also in Williamsburg, 
they had just eaten at Pies N Thighs, so we met them.
So other, significant other, was met.

Darling Daughter and Dearest Son with their
significant others.
I think my children chose wisely and well. 

Thursday Hannah and I spent the day 
having makeovers at Sephora, 
shopping like fools and making memories.
We were caught in a horrible thunderstorm, soaked to the bone, and loved every minute.

Friday was the Tisch salute at Radio City music hall,
for just Tisch graduates, and still they did not walk,
 but stood in groups as their concentrations were called.
The keynote speaker Glenn Mazzara was fabulous.

Glenn Mazzara
worth listening to..great advice

Bono and Denzel Washington were at the end of my row,
and to those of you who will understand all too well...
I successfully avoided those family folks I did not wish to see.
Ben sat with me and shared the moments with me.

I went up and down a thousand subway steps,
and covered a zillion uneven miserable concrete blocks,
 I swear.
I took to carrying small foldable slippers in my purse and
swapped shoes frequently.
Frequently the young folk were 1/2 block ahead with one or
the other turning back and stopping.."are you Ok?"
I was either soaking wet in rainstorms or soaking wet with sweat,
my photo ops are awful...but I don't care.

We ate at favorite haunts, shopped at neighborhood stores and
I really got the sense of her life in Brooklyn.
We saw Ben and Anam here and there,
they had friends to see and catch up with also, 
and we had the worst Italian
something? cocktail in a very pretty spot... my bad choice
Ben you were right....

Late my last night there Blake, Hannah 
and I headed far into Brooklyn to go to Target 
and get apt stuff ( mama's treat)
and passed an exterior craft show closing up and 
we picked up fried Oreos and a funnel cake.
From sweating bullets to 40 degrees and freezing that night. CRAZY.

We had pizza and beer in her tiny apt and dined 
around Brooklyn and Manhatten on quiches, 
great burgers, chopped salads, chinese takeout,
gelatos and good coffees.

I was up at 3:45 a.m. Sunday to get an express bus 
to the airport and Hannah insisted on going
 as far as the Port Authority with me.
Such a sweetie that girl.

It was wonderful.
It was everything I hoped it would be.
My children are prosperous,
hard working, healthy, happy, 
and in love.

Mama is bursting with joy.

All is right with my very small world. 

Winner Winner
Carole you won!
email me for details:

Thanks to all who entered,
I wish you each could win,
 and maybe
I can convince Shabby Apple to do another one someday?

True Random Number Generator
Min: 1 
Max: 47 
Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Purebred Dogs Far Sicker Than Crossbreeds

A new study from UC Davis has found that pure bred dogs are far more likely to suffer from serious genetic-related illness than crossbred dogs.

The researchers evaluated records for more than 90,000 purebred and mixed-breed dogs that were examined at UC Davis’ veterinary medical teaching hospital between 1995 and 2010. From this group, 27,254 dogs were identified as having one or more of 24 genetic disorders, including various types of cancers, heart diseases, endocrine-system ailments and orthopedic problems, as well as allergies, bloat, cataracts, epilepsy, an eye lens problem and a liver condition. The 24 disorders were selected for the study because they can be diagnosed accurately, are highly prevalent in the overall dog population and are debilitating to the extent that owners would seek veterinary care for the animal. In addition, the selected disorders represent a variety of different locations and physiologic systems in the dog’s body. The researchers found that the prevalence of 13 of the 24 genetic disorders was approximately the same in purebred dogs as in their mixed-breed counterparts. Ten were found more frequently among purebred dogs, and one such disorder was more common in mixed-breeds.

The UC Davis study screened out all lesser-known breed-specific diseases, greatly skewing health data in favor of purebred dogs, but still the research shows that purebred dogs are much more likely to suffer from serious and costly genetic problems than crossbred dogs.

This, of course, is nothing new as insurance records have proven the case for years and years,which is perhaps why the UC Davis press department tossed out the study's actual data in favor of a headline which is demonstrably not supported by the work itself.

A Meeting of Like Minds

This is a cropped version of a painting entitled, "Meeting of the Gun Dogs Society" painted in 1904 by George Earl.

Coffee and Provocation

Samoans Suggest Exporting Canned Dog As Solution for Stray Dogs: 
The Pacific island state of Samoa is considering solving its stray dog problem by exporting canned dog meat to Asia. Samoa currently has about 200,000 people and reportedly has more stray dogs than tourists. The country's associate minister, Tole'afoa Apulu Fa'afisi, has proposed in parliament that stray dogs be rounded up, canned, and exported to to Asia, and his suggestion has received strong support from fellow MPs. "Rather than spending money on dogs, how about we use their meat to get money?" he said. "Put them in cans and export them. Looking after other farm animals is also expensive maybe we can grind their meat to feed farm animals?"  Samoan finance minister, Faumuina Tiatia Liuga, embraced the idea, noting that "There is no difference between the meat of a pig and that of a dog. When it gets cold in Asia, the moment you eat dog meat, you feel warm afterwards."

Whales Turned Into Japanese Dog Food?
Whales are being killed in Iceland and turned into dog treats for the luxury pet market in Japan. Read all about it

The Continuing Coffee Crisis
Coffee is being sold as having been run through a Civet's rectum when it has not.  Fraud!
Who You Calling a Loser, Loser? 
Remember Mitt Romney?  He said the government's loan to boot the development of the Tesla electric car was a "loser" but Tesla is paying back it's $465 million loan from the Department of Energy 9 years ahead of schedule. 
Will Your Next Car Get 100 MPG? 
The Ford Fusion Energi has an EPA-rated fuel economy of 100 MPGe combined, 108 MPGe city, and 92 MPGe on the highway and it has a 5-star safety rating from the NHTSA. The 2013 Ford Fusion Energi Titanium starts at $40,200, a price tag that can be offset by a Federal tax credit of $3,751.  Still too rich for me, but prices are likely to keep coming down.  In 10 years, gasoline cars will not make sense for most people.
Fake Security Cameras for Less
On Amazon for just $9. Get two or three to keep tension in the system.

Are You Sheep, Sheepdog or Wolf?

Over at The Art of the Manliness they look at the options and even recommend ways to cultivate your "inner sheepdog."

Mutton Chops for All


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Classic Beauties. The Woman Too.


NYC, Rain, DD & DS and Me

Returned Sunday from NYC after
Darling Daughter's graduation from NYU- Tisch.
One teaser photo
This was at the first graduation at Yankee Stadium
This is her beau Blake.
I adore him
He makes her happy.

So much to catch up on...
be back Wednesday with photos and stories.
iPhoto giving me fits so can't upload yet.

Deadline for giveaway is tomorrow.
be sure you've entered.

News From Wales


Groucho and Harpo

Behind every great man is a great dog.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Catch and Release Groundhog

Today's first was a catch and release. That's my $5 DIY pole snare still going strong.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Bird Trap

Found this sparrow trap at Luckett"s.  This is 2-bay, and the middle bay is where a bait bird or live decoy is placed to attract others birds to the open compartments.

The way this trap works is that there is a small thimble of seed at the bottom, and when the sparrow lands on the triangle-shaped perch, the bird's weight triggers the trap door to close. A nice little set-up.

Road trip

I just realised this post didn't come through as scheduled. Sorry, it was supposed to be published on Monday morning.

I'm off on a solo road trip today. I'm driving down to visit my sister and for a workshop in Blackheath. I'll be meeting several readers and members of the forum while I'm down there so I'm really excited about the trip and what it will bring.  In the next week or so, there

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Best Trailer Porn Ever

Big Barn

Went with my son to his first Industrial League baseball team double header near Hagerstown. This massive barn was behind the baseball field.  One of the largest I have seen.

Best Sign Evah


About Last Night

Shot this out the window of the car with the Iphone on the way home last night. 

That's the moon behind a cloud, not the sun. 

Nice to always have a camera with you that also has a lot of photo-massaging aps on it.

Enhanced reality is better with aps than it is with beer or drugs.

Where Will We Pasture the Horses?

Massive picture of the greatest shot of horses evah!  Source.

Friday, May 24, 2013

All Those "Big Cat" Flaps are Nonsense

From The Guardian comes this little missive about the nonsense claim that that there are "Big Cats" rolling around the manicured, plowed and hound-besotted English countryside:

There is scarcely a self-respecting borough in Britain which does not now possess a Beast. Even the London suburbs claim to be infested with big cats: there is a Beast of Barnet, Beast of Cricklewood, a Crystal Palace Puma,a Sydenham Panther. There have been occasional reports of mysterious British cats throughout history, but over the past few years the sightings have boomed.

In her book Mystery Big Cats, Merrily Harpur finds that "cat-flaps", as she calls them, are occurring at the rate of 2,000 to 4,000 a year. Harpur notes that around three-quarters of all the cats reported are black, and they are commonly described as glossy and muscular. She also makes the fascinating observation that while the most likely candidate is a melanistic leopard (the leopard is the species in which the black form, though rare, occurs most often) she has not been able to find a single account of an ordinary, spotted leopard seen in the wild in Britain.

....Yet, despite camera traps deployed in likely places throughout Britain, despite the best efforts of hundreds of enthusiasts armed with long lenses and thermal imaging equipment, we have yet to see a single unequivocal image captured in this country. Of the photographs and fragments of footage I have seen, around half are evidently domestic cats. Roughly a quarter are cardboard cut-outs, cuddly toys, the result of crude Photoshopping or – as the surrounding vegetation reveals – pictures taken in the tropics. The remainder are so distant and indistinct that they could be anything: dogs, deer, foxes, bin liners, yetis on all fours.

Nor have the tireless efforts to catch or kill these animals yielded anything more convincing. The hundreds of traps set for big cats in Britain have caught only two large predators. One, in 1980, was a tame puma, which had been released by a man about to be sent to prison. The other was a cryptozoologist called Pete Bailey, who had spent 15 years hunting the Beast of Exmoor, entered one of his traps to change the bait and accidentally tripped the mechanism. He was stuck there for two nights, eating the raw meat he had set for the cat, before he was rescued. We hunt the Beast, but the Beast is us....

...In 1995 the government sent investigators to Bodmin moor in Cornwall, where the evidence for big cats was said to be strongest. They spent six months in the field. There is something of the 19th-century royal commission about this investigation. The report contains photos of a strapping fellow with a large moustache and a measuring pole, demonstrating the heights of the natural features on which the creatures were photographed. The text reads in places like the final chapters of The Hound of the Baskervilles. It is thorough, exhaustive, and devastating to those who argued that, while other reputed big cats might not exist, the Beast of Bodmin was real.

They examined the famous video sequence, broadcast widely on television, which shows a cat leaping cleanly over a drystone wall. It looks impressive, until you see the man from the ministry standing beside the wall with his pole, and realise that the barrier is knee-high. A monstrous cat sitting on a gatepost shrinks, when the pole arrives, from a yard at the shoulder to a foot. In one case, where the Beast was filmed crossing a field, the investigators brought a black domestic cat to the scene, set it down in the same spot and photographed it from where the video had been taken. The moggie looks slightly bigger than the monster.

The investigators compared a chilling nocturnal close-up of the Beast with a picture of a real black leopard, and spotted an obvious but hitherto-unnoticed problem. The panther in the cage, like all big cats, has round pupils, while the creature in the photograph has vertical slits, a feature confined to smaller species, such as the domestic cat....

Could it be that illusory big cats also answer an unmet need? As our lives have become tamer and more predictable, as the abundance and diversity of nature has declined, could these imaginary creatures have brought us something we miss?

Perhaps the beasts many people now believe are lurking in the dark corners of the land inject into our lives a thrill that can otherwise be delivered only by artificial means. Perhaps they reawaken vestigial evolutionary memories of conflict and survival, memories that must incorporate encounters – possibly the most challenging encounters our ancestors faced – with large predatory cats. They hint at an unexpressed wish for lives wilder and fiercer than those we now lead. Our desires stare back at us, yellow-eyed and snarling, from the thickets of the mind.

If all of this sounds a bit like something you have read on this blog in the past, that might because you remember a 2005 post entitled The Beast of Exmoor and Other Nonsense.  And, as the links below suggest, it's a topic I have revisited a few time since then. 

The bottom line is that America has vast tracts of forest and a large number of true big predators that are breaking out of the InterMountain West with extraordinary rapidity, while the UK is an island will small woods that shot out its last large predator around 1750.  There are very few Scottish Wildcats left in the U.K. (most are in captivity on an island in the Hebrides), and this animal is only a big larger than the average house cat. A few feral imported pet Savannah cats from Africa may be occasionally released by tired pet owners in the U.K., but again this is an animal that is only a big larger than the average house cat, and most are soon dead from dogs and gun; there are no long-term breeding populations. 

What the British are looking for is something they lost with over-population and poor game management:  a last bit of the wild, something a little wilder, something approaching true wilderness. 

That is gone, and it's not coming back. 

Let that be a warning to all of us in America.  Rising human population numbers serve no one who loves the land, the woods, the forests and the streams.  If we do not want wolves and wilderness to be but a memory, we have to  have a national discussion about population numbers.  We cannot grow on like this forever.

American Bird Feeder

Our bird feeders routinely feature all the colors of the American flag.  Is this a great country, or what?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

America: Fat, Sick, Broke and in Denial

New York City Bought 2.5 Million Dog Tags

It seems that back when we were being told to "duck and cover" in case of nuclear attack, our fearless leaders were preparing to identity the dead, burnt and twisted bodies of millions of school children.

The entire scheme, notes the PaleoFuture blog, depended on a lot of dog tags. 

In February of 1952 the city of New York bought 2.5 million dog tags. By April of that year, just about every kid in the city from kindergarten to fourth grade had a tag with their name on it. Kids in many other cities like San Francisco, Seattle, Las Vegas and Philadelphia also got dog tags, allowing for easy identification should the unthinkable occur.

But educators weren't considering just dog tags to identify the scores of dead and injured children that would result if the cold war suddenly turned hot. They also considered tattoos.

Blah, Blah Blah. Walkies!


Weekend reading

This is Hanno at the Susan River Homestead near Hervey Bay. We visited there on Tuesday to give a short talk at the Queensland Carers Retreat.

Why bugs aren't the enemy - Michael Pollan

Worm therapy

David Bell's tiny home

How to teach spelling

Thinking of starting a Transition initiative?

How to Make Kombucha Tea at Home


Frugal Down Under

Scarlet at

Good News: Dog Homes Swarm With Bacteria

The kid is healthy, the Dogues not so much.

A new study published in PLoS ONE says homes with dogs in them are swarming with bacteria, and that's a good thing.  Notes a summary article on the Discovery web site:

Bacteria would seem to be the last thing we’d need, but that’s not the case. This phenomenon, however gross sounding, seems to be healthy for most people.

Women who have a dog in the home when pregnant, for example, are less likely to have children with allergies. Researchers suspect the mom-to-be and her unborn child are exposed to a wider variety of microbes. They then become accustomed to them.

Previous research has shown that dog bacteria in a house also reduces the chance of childhood asthma.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Last Birthday

My mother and father on his last Birthday, December 1st, 2012.

Warm ... Fortunate ... Thankful

I had a great time yesterday sewing and organising myself and my work room. You know that I'm visiting my sister, Tricia, next week and I want to take a few things down for her grandson, Johnathan. He is six months old now, they're just coming into winter in a very cold region, so that presents me with many wonderful options to knit cosy cardigans and sew fluffy fleece sleeping bags. I love

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Giant American Dinosaurs

Texas alligator, 14 feet, 3 inches, 800 pounds, shot this week by Braxton Bielski.

Florida python18 foot 8 inches, 128 pounds, taken by hand and knife this week by Jason Leon.

Not to worry:  There are plenty more giants out there.  Florida, Louisiana, Texas and several other states have alligator hunting under permit, while Florida actually pays a bounty for Pythons.


Too many eggs?

If you're keeping chickens in the backyard, often you'll reach a point when you have too many eggs. Luckily, eggs are always easy to give away but they're also very easy to use up. Two of my favourite egg-based meals are quiche and creme caramel. Both recipes can be made many different ways, this is how I make them.


Don't be put off by making your own pastry. Like everything else,

And Then a Miracle: Best Tornado Video Ever

Best tornado moment since Dorothy and Toto landed on the Wicked Witch of the East.

The White House Puppy No One Wanted

Dog breeders crank out puppies and, despite what they tell each other and what they tell themselves, most never bother to actually find out what happened to their dogs after that first exchange of money.

Nor does anyone else, it seems. 

We have over 75 million dogs in this country, but finding solid statistics on where puppies come from -- and where they go to over the course of their lives-- is very difficult. 

I know of no research that tracks puppies by "source stream" (pet shop, newspaper, hobby breeder, UKC, AKC, working dog kennel, friend, pound puppy) over a life time. 
Even being in the public eye does not necessarily guarantee a stable life.  Take the case of "Feller," a Cocker Spaniel puppy that arrived unsolicited at the White House in December of 1947. 

Though Harry Truman rather famously said that "If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog,” he apparently was not much of a dog man himself. 

President Truman named the un-asked for pup “Feller," and though Harry Truman's daughter wanted to keep the dog, Bess Truman over-ruled her as she knew the real job of taking care of the dog was to fall on her shoulders, and she wanted no part of it.

With neither Harry nor Bess Truman eager to keep the dog, the puppy was quietly placed with Brigadier General Wallace Graham who was the White House physician and who was stationed at quarters in Walter Reed Army Hospital.

The fact that Truman did not immediately embrace a dog he never asked for did not sit well with the newspaper-reading public who attacked Truman as “anti-dog” and denounced Dr. Graham for having had the temerity to accept it. 

Do you think this little tempest in a teacup might have had more to do with politics than concern about canine welfare?  Count on it!

Graham, perhaps realizing that the hospital was not the best place to raise a dog, or perhaps under direct orders from the White House, which may have been trying to manage this contrived crisis, decided to move the dog on to Admiral James K. Foskett who took the young dog to Camp David where it was given to Quartermaster Chief George A. Poplin to manage.   


Though nominally back in the orbit of the White House at Camp David, Feller had actually passed through five hands in short order and was, in fact, owned by no one, a situation that continued for a number of years. 
Poplin was eventually transferred, and Feller's care was then handed off to Camp David's Damage Control Chief Ralph Loften who, in turn, eventually passed the dog on to Chief Boatswain Robert W. Lyle (Camp David is under the command of the U.S. Navy and Marines despite being located in the Maryland mountains).

When Lyle was transferred to Italy in 1953, he asked if he could take Feller with him. Permission was granted under one condition:  No mention could ever be made of the fact that the dog had once been given to Harry Truman!

In the end, Feller never actually went to Italy with Robert Lyle.  Instead, the dog was given by Robert to his father, Archie Otis Lyle, who owned a farm near Greenfield, Ohio.  There Feller finally lived out the remainder of his life, owned at last. 

Feller is said to have died happy and in old age, but I can find no mention of his actual age at passing.

While the story of Feller is exceptional in that this was a dog given to a President, it is unexceptional in the sense that this dog was jettisoned by a breeder who gave very little thought  to what might happen to the dog, and who never bothered to follow up. 

Like so many dogs, Feller was dumped/acquired in haste and without too much planning, and it subsequently passed through many hands before it disappeared off the radar.

Did Feller really die happy in old age?  Perhaps.  We would all like to think so.  But the fact that this story does not have a clear terminal date suggests this might be wishful thinking.

If anyone turns up a documented end-date for Feller, I would like to hear it! 


Your Dog is Sick or Dead Because It's Big

Click to enlarge.

Dogs have the widest range of body sizes among mammals.

The size differential between the largest dog, the Great Dane, and the smallest, the Chihuahua, appears to be due to a single gene which suppresses IGF-1, an "insulin-like growth factor 1" hormone. 

This single-gene hormone-suppression appears only in domestic dogs, and only in the smaller dogs such as the Jack Russell Terrier.

Suppression of the IGF-1 appears to be associated with a longer life span.  Conversely, animals across a wide variety of species have been shown to have an increased risk of death from age-related diseases such as cancer and heart disease if higher levels of IGF-1 are present.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Enter Giveaway At Oldgreymare

How cute is this?
At Last

or this? 
Heart Of Me

Perfect for a summer wedding
At First Sight

Many to choose from
many $100.00 in value!!!!
to one lucky winner.
You have 4 chances to win.
Did you miss Saturday's post?
Enter here
Think of a graduate you know who would love a new frock.
A birthday gift?
Have a wedding coming up,
or a summer party?

Many of you have emailed me
 saying "but I don't wear dresses.."
and my reply is ..
then give it away to some one you love.
Geetha will even ship it to them for you.

I am thrilled to offer this to one of 
you readers, so go over to Shabby Apple,
see how great their site is, 
and then leave me some comments

C'mon your chances are much better
 than the powerball thing..
and you don't have to buy a scratch off.

This is What 80 Looks Like Now.

Well, not quite 80.   This is Mom and Pearl at Great Falls at Carderrock on Saturday.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Goose Mom and Chicks

This shot was taken with my IPhone at C&O canal, so you know I was pretty close.  
This pair of Canada Geese actually had six chicks, spread out in two groups of three, perhaps nature's way of reducing the chance of mortality from a single-event run-in with a stray cat, dog or fox.
Baby geese, fox kits, and fawns are likely to be dead within three months of being born -- such is the natural mortality of most wildlife. 
If two geese have six chicks every year, at least six of the eight have to die every year (including the parents) to maintain population stability.  The only question in such matters is how the death occurs, and in what season. 
Though most hunting takes place in the fall and in the winter, it's actually Spring that is the cruel season.

Potomac Palisades

Picture taken yesterday just below Great Falls at Carderrock.