Monday, August 20, 2012

My Dog is My Assistant

I wrote this piece in Yahoo Voices. It's about Mocha Barney and a phase she went through when she felt it was her job to keep watch over my daily schedule:)

Step aside Khloe Kardashian, Rachel Zoe and Paris Hilton. You aren’t the only ones with personal assistants. I have one too -- my dog, Mocha Barney. And I don’t pay her a sliver of what you probably pay yours.
I realized Mocha is my personal assistant when I saw an episode of “The World According to Paris.” In that scene, Paris’ assistant forced Paris to wake up, dress and do community service for a DUI she incurred.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Science Diet, Paws and Tahanan Village

 Wow, Dad and Mom have taken us out on special occasions before, like the one above, when our parents brought us to The Fort.
 But this was the first time we experienced something completely different -- an entire event that revolved just around us dogs! It was held in the Tahanan Village park, and it was all free. But our parents were given plastic bags so that if we pooed they could clean after us.
 Mom tried to take our pictures, but we were so excited we couldn't just keep posing. So there is Winniechurchill's tail. A lot of the neighbors recognized us and asked why we weren't dressed this time.
 There were a lot of chairs because there was a program of people giving tips on how to handle dogs, and afterwards a dog did a lot of tricks. It sure was fun!
 We still have to scan the special photos that we took at the dog photo booth. They will follow later.
 There was also a booth from Paws to talk about street dogs and how they could use nice, loving families who would be willing to adopt them.
 We sat next to this introspective puppy.
 Mom was surprised that we could behave so well among so many different dogs. She doesn't realize that we were just so amazed. Never have we gone to something that was designed precisely for us, and of course, we had to behave appropriately and show we were worthy. And besides, it was very interesting.
 People were meandering about, looking at all the stuff. Mom couldn't photograph all the booths because she had to watch over us, while Dad watched over Ashley. We were so glad the three of us were together. Usually, we are taken out separately so this was lots of fun for us.
 Here are more pics of people above. Below, Mom loved this orange dress the woman wore. Mom said if she were thin like this woman, she would dress this way.
 Close up of the dress:)
I remember this dog. I am afraid we had a bit of a scuffle two years ago. Boy, the dog was mad because Ashley bit her nose.
 But this was a day for enjoyment and so we buried the hatchet.
 Cassandra Care gave free consultations. The doctor said Winniechurchill is too thin and prescribed a vitamin that stimulates appetite.
They bonded rather well. Afterwards, we got some samples of Science Diet. We found out that Winnie likes Science Diet so there is no need for an appetite stimulant anymore. She always eats everything on her plate now.

 It was quite a line so thankfully there were a number of doctors available for consultation.
 The doctor said Mocha Barney is overweight, and needs more exercise. Otherwise, if she is fat when she is old she can get a heart attack.

 Dog City gave free grooming. This was the most popular booth of all, The longest line was here. That guy in the middle is a good groomer. Mom has taken us to many groomers but she says he is the best of all, so we will be sticking to Dog City to retain our ehem cuteness.
 Finally, there was a demonstration of dog agility. It was very interesting and we were truly impressed.
 Afterwards, they let us try doing some of the dog agility stuff, and we just had the greatest time.
Afterwards, when we went home, we were so amazed and thrilled. It lasted for like three days, the feeling that there was something like this that was organized just for us:) I hope they do it every year.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Lolong, The Biggest Crocodile in the World

 I wonder how Lolong, the 21 ft. and three inch long crocodile (from snout to tail as measured by a rep from National Geographic), is feeling. Lolong is bigger than Cassius the Croc of Australia, whom the Guinness World Records listed as the largest in the world at 17 ft. and 11 inches in 2008.

Here's a video of how Lolong was captured:

I wonder how Lolong feels to be such a big croc. Did that make him feel powerful and superior in the marsh where he was discovered in Bunawan, Agusan del Sur? Or was he just lonely.

Size matters. Consider Big Bird in Sesame Street – an oversized baby who was just learning the world, but who had nurture and support from neighbors. Or Gulliver and the Lilliputians. Okay, those are fictional characters. But we do know that in the world of the deep, and even among wildlife on earth, size matters.

Lolong became known to the townfolk in Bunawan because of his size. He ate a lot of carabaos, which are of primary importance to poor farmers. And a farmer who is missing, and a 12-year-old girl, long disappeared, are believed to have been victims of Lolong’s huge appetite.

When a team of hunters, local government officials and residents finally captured Lolong the giant croc, he fought fiercely. He tore his ropes twice and it took 100 men to drag him out of the marsh. Lolong became the “cover boy croc” of all the local dailies, with photos of him tied up and attached to a sturdy wooden wagon contraption.
People gathered around him for the photo op, one man standing in the middle of Lolong’s back, daringly leaning on the tethered croc and spreading his arms from side to side to illustrate how large Lolong is. 

I wonder, if at that moment, Lolong shed crocodile tears.

Currently Lolong is being kept in a crocodile eco-park that was built specially for him, in Barangay Consuelo, Bunawan in Agusan del Sur. It is open to the public and has generated quite a sum of money for Lolong’s upkeep from interested visitors.

National Geographic has recommended to the Guinness Book of World Records that Lolong be listed as the largest crocodile in captivity. Lolong can’t be returned to the marsh that was his home, because it is too close to a sizeable, impoverished human population.

There are considerations of making Lolong an ambassador for crocodile care and preservation in the Philippines. So in this way, Lolong will have a purpose in helping people to appreciate the importance of preserving this endangered species. Including the biggest and rarest ones, like Lolong the giant croc.

[Note: Some two years after his capture, our dear Lolong passed away. I will be writing a blog about what happened after he was captured, up to his unfortunate death.]

For more info on crocodiles (and Lolong) you can go to:

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Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Fabulous Weinmaraners

By: Ed Gonzalez

This dog was originally known as the weimer pointerand it's name came from the court that sponsored it. It was selectively bred and comes from selective breeding of other german hunting dog breeds.. They say it is a descendant of the bloodhounds. It was purposely used to hunt wolves, deer and bear. The weimaraner later became a personal hunting companion, The dog is so exceptional because it has great speed, brave and enduring dog when it is hunting.. This kind of dog is exceptional when it comes to all sorts of sports hunting. It is the type of breed that will always stay this way..

The Weinmaraner is a a stunning type of dog because it is big, exudes self confidence, smart and it has a sensitive nose. This dog is stubborn and has it's own mind. The owner must have special talents and must be able to train this dog . This dog will always try to test your patience on how much it can get way with anything because it has an irresistible charm. It will cause the owner difficulty for the owner to remain firm, especially when the dog has puppies. If you want to buy these dogs and you can not train them, you must hire a trainer to do so,. They must be trained in obedience and subordination training at once.

Any owner will not be able to stand an Weinmaraner. That misbehaves. It will act as it is the boss and the owners are it's followers. A well trained Weinmaraner will enrich the life of the entire family. They will love and defend them. They are a very happy and attentive companion. This dog is so humorous and they will surely make you laugh. It's a great playmate for children because it likes moving around and chasing balls. They won't mind if children put lego pieces on their ears. They need to be close to it's master and should not live in a kennel.

If these dogs are males, they will have heights from 23 – 28 inches and the females will have heights from 22 – 26 inches. The males will weigh 84 pounds:; while the females will weigh at least 70 pounds.. They have short, fine, sleek and thick coats and there is the long variety too. Their colors are mouse gray, silver gray or fawn gray. They don't need to be groomed regularly but these dogs require extensive exercises. They are more suitable for urban living. Dogs of this kind are susceptible to allergies and sometimes dysplasia.

Weinmaraners are very good watchdogs or guard dogs. Surely these dogs will keep your homes safe from individuals who have tendencies of being aggressive. They need to go for long walks because they are very active .

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Amiable Bullmastiffs

By: Ed Gonzalez

The Bullmastiffs originated in England, and history claims they appeared around the 1860's. These massive dogs were bred to keep large estates free from illegal hunters who would try to steal plants, animals and game preserves. Games keepers wanted a dog that could track down these illegal hunters in a quiet manner. It is a superb breed because it can go through a long distance very quickly. Dogs belonging to this breed will pin down and hold these unwanted hunters without beating them up. This sterling breed is 60% mastiff and 40% bulldog. It was meant to be quicker and more combative than the the mastiff plus larger and less violent than the bulldog.

The Bullmastiffs are brave and they have a lot of confidence in themselves. These kindhearted dogs adapt well with families. They are known to be good guard dogs for your homes although they seldom bark. They have their own way of thinking and they might not respond to obedience training. One thing great about these dogs is that they do not need much training, exercise or grooming. These dogs can live joyfully in apartments or homes.

Bullmastiffs are well proportioned, having tremendous strength, a lot of staying power, always on guard and sturdily built. They are very active dogs. Their sizes range from 25 to 27 inches and they weigh 110 to 130 pounds. Dogs within these limits have more value. The length from the tips of their breastbones to the rear of their thighs goes beyond the height slightly and it withers to the ground. The ultimate result of these qualities is a square - like appearance.

They are very intense, intelligent and always on their guard. The eyes are dark and the sizes are medium. Their ears are v – shaped and are rather near their cheeks. They are set on high and wide, at level with the posterior back portion of their heads. This is why their skulls appear to be square in shape. Their heads are darker in appearance than their bodies and their sizes are medium. The muzzles of these breeds are wide and deep. Its length when compared to their heads is almost like a ratio of 1 to 3. They seem to lack a foreface with their nostrils set above the the top of their muzzles. It is a complete reversal of that of the bulldogs and it does not look nice. It is better for the Bullmastiffs to have dark muzzles. They have black noses with nostrils that are big and broad. Their upper lips are not too pendulous. Their bites are slightly misplaced or at level. The teeth of these dogs are big and are set wide apart from each other. Their necks are muscular, medium in length with a slight arch and the circumferences are almost equal. They have a compact body. Their chests are broad and deep. The ribs of the Bullmastiffs are sprung up and are well settled down between the forelegs of these dogs They have short backs which are impressive looking because it makes these dogs looked balanced. They have muscular hips that are wide and a bit arched and their flanks are even. They have high tails that look strong at the root and decrease as they reach the hocks (joints between the tarsal and tibia bones of the dogs). Tails can be curved or straight.

The Bullmastiff shoulders are muscular with a slight slope. They have nicely boned forelegs which are straight and well formed elbows that are neither in nor out. Their pasterns (the sloping part of the feet) are straight. They possess medium sized feet with rounded toes that are well arched. The pads of these dogs are burly and rugged. Their nails are black. Dogs of this kind have hindquarters that are wide and muscular. Their second thighs are well cultivated and powerful. They have moderate angulations at the hocks. If they have cowhocks and splay feet, these are critical faults. Their coats sre short but thick therefore giving the dogs very good protection. The coats are colored light brown, red or brindle. They do have small white spots on their chests. If they do have white markings, these are considered serious faults. These dogs move in a straight manner. Their temperament is courageous with oozing belief in itself but easy to handle. These dogs can be easily relied upon. Their intelligence is incredible and they like to please their owners.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Sparkling Looking Bichon Frise

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

By: Ed Gonzalez

The Bichon Frise came into existence in the middle ages, in the 13th century. They may have originated somewhere in the Mediterranean or maybe France. These dogs are said to be the mixed breed crossings of spaniels and poodles. They were traded by Spanish sailors and became the favorites of the French Royal Courts during in the 16th century. At that time they were used as circus performers. Now, they are well known as companion and show dogs.

These dogs are small but sturdy They are well trimmed and manifest a round body appearance. Their heads are a bit rounded. They have small muzzles that are not pointed. They have rounded black or brown eyes. Their ears appear to be dropping downwards and are surrounded by their long hair. The teeth of these dogs are enclosed together in scissor-like bites. They have legs that are erect and fairly boned. Claws that don't touch the ground can be taken out. Their tails go over their backs. 

They have double layered coats that are quite tender. The outer coats are less refined and rippled, compared to their tender but thick undercoats. Their coat colors are white, gray, cream and yellowish pink. One feature of these dogs is that they have hypoallergenic coats. In show competitions, white colored bichon frises are a favorites. The hair of these dogs must be clipped equally, as they have the same lengths all over their bodies. They can be made to resemble poodles or they can have the long puffed up look, depending on your hair design preference. The surrounding areas of their feet and muzzles must be clipped.

The Bichon Frises are furry, small dogs. They like to be around people. These dogs are warm hearted, aggressive and full of enthusiasm. They are not yappers. They are friendly and loving. Dogs of this breed need to be with a famiy so that they will experience contentment. These dogs like to go on trips with their owners. They are smart and are rather easy to train. Because these dogs are friendly, they will do well in the company of other dogs and pets in the house. They are playful and are surely good playmates for children. 

Bichon Frises are also outstanding watchdogs and they can do a lot of tricks for their owners. They are very competitive but they are also obedient. These dogs must be taught how to follow orders and they must know what they can and cannot do.

They must do daily walks with their owners. Owners must act as masters. Their dogs must walk by their sides or their owners must be ahead of them. These dogs must be leashed when they are walking. These dogs must never feel like they are the masters because it can create behavioral problems that will be hard to deal with later on. Owners must be in control and confident when they are with their dogs. Having their dogs go through daily walks will make them loyal dogs.

These dogs will grow nine to 12 inches in height and they will weigh seven to 12 pounds. They can live for as long as 15 years.

They are good dogs for apartment living but owners must see to it that they get enough exercise. They are very mobile when they are indoors. If owners have yards, they will also roam around the yard. Make sure that your fences are well built because these dogs are quite small and they can slip out unnoticed.

These dogs are prone to ear duct problems, skin problems and eye cataracts. Though these dogs do not shed, their coats will need to be brushed every week and they must have their dogs groomed by professional groomers once every five weeks.

As long as these dogs are kept healthy, they will keep you truly entertained.

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Alluring Australian Terriers

By: Ed Gonzalez

The Australian Terriers came into existence at around the 19th century. This is the only other terrier aside from the schnauzer that did not originate from England. In the early days they were kept in ships to kill vermin plus other small insects and unwanted animals. Their sharp hearing and excellent eyesight make them good watch dogs. 

They are delightful. Aussie dog owners rarely switch to any other pet dogs. The reason for this is that they are quite dedicated to their owners and their household members. Having two Australian male terriers living together can cause problems. They will not be able to live in peace.

Australian Terriers are good companion dogs for older people, and are exceptional pet dogs for children. However, they must be properly supervised if they are around toddlers and younger children, 

The Australian Terriers are fit for both city and country living. Owners must make sure that there are sufficient areas where they can exercise, and they must never let their dogs out of their sight. 

These dogs are programmed to have superior hunting skills. Australian Terriers may go forward unmindfully  crossing the road, even if there is traffic. Be careful and make sure that you are in control by having them leashed. If not, the safest way is to carry them.

These small dogs are strong and very active. They are so brave, just like many of the bigger dogs. They have boundless energy, plus they are very kind and tender pet dogs. Their intelligence is extraordinary. These pet dogs are very receptive and will protect their owners from any kind of danger. 

Australian Terriers are always aware of things that are happening around them. One of their outstanding characters is that they are so entertaining. They are very confident, inquisitive and energetic creatures. 

These are dogs want to satisfy their owners. They don't snap but they are known to bark. These dogs must be taught to stay still and stop. They can be trained. 

Children of such dogs must learn to be the leaders. Owners must treat their pet dogs kindly. These dogs are friendly towards other dogs but they chase smaller animals when they are out the house. Sometimes, these pet dogs can be rather stubborn and they will do only what they want. To deal with this, owners must set their own rules. Their pet dogs must be trained to obey orders and they will follow quite easily.

Their height is around 10 – 11 inches starting from their shoulders. Their weight averages 14 – 16 pounds. Their body coats are two to two and one half inches in length.

Take care of them and they will always display affection towards their owners. These dogs are very obedient dogs and are so protective of their owners. They are extraordinary, loving dogs.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Dog Name Origins and Trivia Part 2

Chihuahua. This dog was named after the Mexican state, Chihuahua. The dog was also called Chihuuhenos. When some were brought to Europe, they would sit on the owner’s lap to keep the person warm, especially in big homes and castles. 
The artist Botticelli painted a Chihuahua in the Sistine chapel (above).
The Chow Chow is from China and its name “songshi quan” means Puffy Lion Dog. The chow likes feet, and will be happy to sit on your feet to keep them warm and kiss them. Chow Chows also have a blue tongue.
Cocker Spaniels are so called because they were used to hunt Woodcock birds. It is believed these dogs came from Spain.

Cocker Spaniels tend to be more interested in people than dogs. This is the potential girlfriend we found for Remington Steal Your Heart. But it turns out, she might like Remington’s human better…anyway, if she barks Tagalog the moment of serendipity will have no comprehension….
Dalmatians are named after Dalmatia, a region in Croatia. They are great if you are allergic to dogs because they won’t trigger symptoms. These dogs are great in hunting rats and pests, which is why in London they were kept in stables and firehouses.
Golden Retrievers have a soft mouth, which made them perfect for retrieving game undamaged. They are colored in varied tones of gold. They love water. They can be trained as hearing dogs for the deaf, guide dogs for the blind, search and rescue dogs and illegal drug detectors. They have a gentle temperament. In a dog show, this Golden Retriever seemed to take a liking to my hubby Ed.

The Jack Russell was named in the 18th century by a parson, Reverend John Russell, who liked to hunt. After World War II, there was less need for hunting dogs, and they became family dogs.

One famous Jack Russell is Nipper, who was the inspiration for the classic painting of a dog looking into a phonograph. The painting was later renamed His Master’s Voice and was used by recording countries including RCA, EMI and The Gramophone Company. 

The painting was done by Englishman Francis Barraud and it was purchased by Berliner to become a trademark on Victor record catalogues. 

Llhasa apso- This dog was named after Llhasa, the capital city of Tibet. Apso means bearded. Llhasa Apsos stayed in Buddhist monasteries as guard dogs.

This is the Llhasa apso with untrimmed but neatly combed hair. When Llhasas are happy they rub their head on their owners or sit at their owner’s feet.

Spiderman’s Aunt May owned a Llhasa Apso named Ms. Lion.

 Pekingese were only allowed to be kept in the Chinese Imperial court, and its name comes from the city Peking, which is the former name of China’s capital city, Beijing. If anyone stole a Pekingese, the penalty was death. I fell in love with this Pekingese puppy at a dog show, but it’s not mine.

 Bulldog – The bulldog got its name because it was used in England to bait bulls. The game involved tethering a bull, placing two bulldogs on the bull’s back, and people would gamble on which dog would succeed in biting the bull’s nose and pinning it to the ground. A lot of bull dogs died in this way. In the 1500s they were spelled Bolddogge and bondogge. Later the game became illegal. Today, bulldogs are docile and good with children. They are great apartment dogs as they don’t need much exercise. They would rather sleep on your lap than run after a ball.

Of course, I must add our beloved Askal. This is my askal, Winniechurchill. The name Askal comes from the Tagalog words, Asong Kalye and refers to street dogs with no owners. Askals are essentially mongrels. In the provinces, farmers keep them as guard dogs. In the city, I noticed that a lot of askals get fed by friendly people. When I had my car washed, two workers were eating their lunch but gave some of their food to an askal hanging about. The maid who works in the house next door, Brenda, goes out on her bike every afternoon with food to feed askals and pusakals (street cats). Some people tried to raise the dignity of askals by naming them Aspins, or Filipino dogs. But I like the sound of Askals, and we have a great soccer team, Azkals which has been winning a lot of games lately. So it seems now, that being called Askal is a good thingJ 

The Shar Pei is from China and its Cantonese name, sa peih means “sand skin.”  I personally am inspired by the Shar Pei because it has lots of wrinkles which work to its advantage. If a dog tries to bite it, the internal organs are protected because the dog will bite the wrinkles and the Shar Pei is able to strike back. A study in the University of Washington, Seattle said the enzyme of the Shar Pei is a key component of skin. I am no longer afraid of the wrinkles developing on my face. They have served the Shar Pei well.