Thursday’s goodies to read by the fireplace with care

December 24, 2009 at 12:45 pm Leave a comment

For those of you feeling a little bit of cabin fever, we start with …

OscarOscar the peripatetic pooch: I’ve traveled to nine countries on three continents in 45 years.  Oscar the terrier visited 29 countries on five continents in six months.   I am so totally jealous of this dog I can’t even tell you.    Oh, and wait, it gets better.  He and his mom also helped rescues around the world.    Talk about having a very good year….

Next, some thoughtful writing from the blogosphere.

Pets are responsible for climate change? When I noted the Science Daily article recently that intimated pets contribute to global warming, I didn’t have to mention how ludicrous the idea was.   However, Dr. Marion Nestle over at Food Politics tears the fallacy apart in a rather (pardon the pun) delicious manner.

We think pet food performs a huge public service. If pets didn’t eat all that stuff, we would have to find a means of getting rid of it: landfills, burning, fertilizer, or converting it to fuel, all of which have serious environmental consequences. If dogs and cats ate the same food we do, we estimate that just on the basis of calories, the 172 million dogs and cats in American would consume as much food as 42 million people.

But they don’t. They eat the by-products of human food production. If we want to do something to help reverse climate change, we should be worrying much more about the amount of meat that we ourselves are eating–and the amount of cereals we are growing to feed food animals–than blaming house pets for a problem that we created.

The day it all changed: At Raised by Wolves, Houlie draws on a comment from regular straybaby and connects the dots to find when dogs stopped being valued solely for what they did and became status symbols based on looks and “papers.” Interesting read, with a twist for an ending.

The Cesar Wars: The battle over how to best train a dog is getting hot again, as Susan McCullough notes at The Allie Chronicles.  It’s Cesar Millan vs. well, everyone who doesn’t like Cesar’s Way.  And Cesar’s attorneys aren’t happy at any challenge to Cesar’s empire. I suggest this one because it’s less about the training methodology itself, and more about the fight over who is right and who has might.

Noting that the mere mention of Millan brings out strong emotions, I figure this pointer is good for my first hundred-comment post. One thing for sure: Love him or hate him, seems no one who has a dog is actually neutral on the subject of Cesar Millan. And that’s all I’m going to say without consulting an attorney.

border-collie-sheep1Pedigree and paranoia: Sometimes I read posts that annoy me not because of what they say, but because they remind me I’m not nearly as good a writer as I’d like to think.   Terrierman gives us two e-mails from best-selling author and Border Collie man Don McCaig, both so masterfully delivered they make me shake my fist at the heavens (in spite of their invocation of Godwin’s Law).   They’re well reasoned, funny, brilliant and damn near perfect. (Gina gushed over them, too, in the comments section, even, which is kinda embarassing, but shhhh! don’t tell her I said so. She’s a little old to be such a silly fan girl.) Mr. McCaig writes that the only thing holding up the crumbling edifice of the AKC is the “fancy’s” overblown paranoia regarding animal-rights zealots:

“Don’t you see — it’s just like dominoes. First they come for the socialists . . .”

“I’ve never heard of that breed.”

“No, it’s like Nazi Germany. ‘First they came for the socialists.’”

“But this isn’t Nazi Germany. Dogs aren’t socialists.”

“Never-you-mind: they’re coming for our dogs!”

On that note: Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good … day.

Photo credits:  Oscar – Cater’s News Agency.  Herding collie: Terrierman…

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