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 The Doggy Thread

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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: The Doggy Thread   Wed 31 Oct 2012, 20:56

@ferval wrote:
........ a soupçon of joie de vivre, a cold wet nose and an urge to sniff bottoms?

Were you referring to me or the dog ?!?
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PostSubject: Re: The Doggy Thread   Wed 31 Oct 2012, 21:07

Well......
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PostSubject: Re: The Doggy Thread   Wed 31 Oct 2012, 21:10

.... well you know me .... Wink



Although personally I could happily give the cold, wet noses a miss.....
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PostSubject: Re: The Doggy Thread   Thu 01 Nov 2012, 16:15

Moving on from bottoms... a Holy Dog!

A select few people have been given the designation of "Saint," but only one dog has also received that distinction. The story goes that a 13th century French knight left his infant son in the care of his greyhound, Guinefort, for the day (you'll notice the knight in this tale is not the patron saint of parenting). Upon returning home, the knight found the home torn apart, blood on the dog's face, and his son nowhere in sight. Thinking his dog had eaten the child, the knight instantly shot him with an arrow, only to find his son moments later, alive and well, next to the mutilated remains of a snake. The knight was so upset by his mistake that he buried Guinefort in a well and erected a shrine on top of it. Local villagers prayed to the brave dog even after a visiting inquisitor had the shrine destroyed and labeled the dog a heretic.

Gosh, the Inquisition could be tight - fancy having this noble and courageous mutt declared a *heretic*. Will look for a picture. I hope I can find one with a halo.

PS There is a Welsh version of this tale - Gelert?
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PostSubject: Re: The Doggy Thread   Thu 01 Nov 2012, 16:22

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PostSubject: Re: The Doggy Thread   Thu 01 Nov 2012, 16:32

Isn't that the story of Llywelyn and Gelert transplanted? From about the same time if I remember?
That was one story I got from childhood literature but I don't recall where.
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PostSubject: Re: The Doggy Thread   Thu 01 Nov 2012, 17:09

Sounds like it was the urban myth of the medieval time.
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PostSubject: Re: The Doggy Thread   Thu 01 Nov 2012, 17:15

The Irish version (can't remember the saintly dog's name) was really a heretic. I could never understand how he managed to kill a snake in a place where St Patrick had already given them the heave-ho. A true unbeliever. I seem to remember a saintly cat too, can't remember its name either.
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PostSubject: Re: The Doggy Thread   Thu 01 Nov 2012, 20:12

I'm confused too... I thought it had been ruled by an infallable papal decree that only creatures with souls could go to heaven. But also that amongst all earthly creatures mankind was unique in the possesion of a soul. So basically it's no dogs or cats (... nor rabbits, mice, hamsters, budgies, snakes, turtles, goldfish etc) in heaven. Sorry if you're a cannonised canine but rules is rules and you are not welcome amongst the select.

But also did the dog, Gelert, Guinfort, or whatever, actually perform the requisite three miracles? As I understand the rules it very definitely has to be three or more miracles, one or two just gets you a blessing or something, it has to be three to make you eligible for sainthood. If St Doggie-dog snuck in on the basis of a single miraculous act (and I frankly don't see anything miraculous in a guard-dog acting as, well, a guard dog), I rather think that shows considerable bias and favouritism towards dogs at the exclusion of all the other millions of God's creations.

But ultimately how could a dog, officially a non-sentient creature, and presumably never baptised nor ever officially welcomed into the loving bosom of mother church... be then declared "a heretic"?


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PostSubject: Re: The Doggy Thread   Thu 01 Nov 2012, 20:46

They have this thing that a saint is one if he or she is canonised, but that also the phrase can be used for anyone who enough people call a saint anyway and who lived a life which is at least one tenth plausible. That way St Christopher (and indeed St Patrick) hold on to their status and whatever extra pension goes with it, without ever having been shot from a cannon or whatever the church likes to do with them. I suppose very popular dogs can get in this backdoor too (and this dog is popular in at least three languages, so he's doing better than St Bridget already!):
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PostSubject: Re: The Doggy Thread   Thu 01 Nov 2012, 21:04

Great Saint Bernard himself, of course, doesn't need to use the back door.

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PostSubject: Re: The Doggy Thread   Thu 15 Nov 2012, 10:14

Hercules' 12th labour, to capture Cerberus;

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PostSubject: Re: The Doggy Thread   Sat 17 Nov 2012, 13:09

I have been looking at various representations of the Ecce Homo scene. I came across this one by Tintoretto which I did not know.

I am trying to puzzle out the significance of the dog which plays such a prominent part in the composition of the picture.

Animals could be very important in Tintoretto's work: apparently in his famous The Crucifixion there is an a little donkey. Ruskin said of this: "And then to see his touch of quiet thought in his awful crucifixion - there is an ass in the distance feeding on the remains of strewed palm leaves. If that isn't a master's stroke, I don't know what is."



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PostSubject: Re: The Doggy Thread   Sat 17 Nov 2012, 15:00

A dog in mediaeval Christian and rennaissance art is usually a symbol of loyalty, fidelity or trust, although I don't understand that in the context of the painting, unless it simply represents 'streadfastness in suffering' or just simply 'trust in the Lord' ... which I admit seems a rather weak suggestion.

But I note a similar dog also appears in this 15th century engraving by Martin Schongauer (which of course pre dates Tintoretto's representation):




This may very well simply be coincidence and that Schongauer just needed something to fill the otherwise rather empty space at lower left.

EDIT : And the only other animal depicted is a horse... was not the horse an allegory for 'steadfastness' or something like that, or am I as usual talking rubbish?


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PostSubject: Re: The Doggy Thread   Sat 17 Nov 2012, 15:53

Odd that he appears to be snoozing too - and is the kneeling man his master?

The dog in the Schongauer engraving is very different. He is not an attractive creature at all: a mangy, unloved cur if ever I saw one. But how aware he is of what is going on just above him. Is his a vicious interest? Is he just another of the hard and hostile crowd, or is he suddenly alert to the love and compassion emanating from the Christ figure? It is hard to say.

I've never seen the Schongauer before, MM - how disturbing it is.
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PostSubject: Re: The Doggy Thread   Sat 17 Nov 2012, 16:02

I am completely out of my depth here, but (in Tintoretto's work) the figures on the steps and to the right are clearly separate from the "baying mob" to the left. The central figure (dog's master if you like) appears almost as a supplicant appealling for mercy whilst of the two to the right, one has maybe fainted away and the other just seems neutral, possibly supportive. Together, these three with the dog, are they possibly representative of the few loyal followers of Christ who remain loyal ... in contrast to the perfidious, heathen mob to the left, who are mocking and baying for blood?

As I say I'm probably talking absolute bulls**t. It's what I'm good at. Wink

I've never come across this Tintoretto painting before either. Where is it, a church in Venice or a museum somewhere else?


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PostSubject: Re: The Doggy Thread   Sat 17 Nov 2012, 16:13

Yes, you're right about those figures, MM.

And I think a horse does represent steadfastness, although I'm not sure.

You never talk rubbish. I don't think anyone around here does. What worries me though is that sometimes people are so afraid of saying something daft, they don't say anything at all - and that's always a shame.

Edit: I think it is in Venice, but again, I'm not sure.
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PostSubject: Re: The Doggy Thread   Sat 17 Nov 2012, 16:28

Much as I am fascinated by such things, I am also wary of the risk of over-analysing paintings like this. Maybe Tintoretto just put a horse in amongst the crowd at left for a bit of variety, any street crowd then would have had horses amongst them, as they were the main beast of burden and transport. So why not just stick in a horse too?

But, having once attended a lecture at the National Gallery, solely about all the multi-layered symbolism in Titian's "Allegory of Prudence", I do often suspect there is something more there than just what you see. And that the artist isn't just filling a space or indulging his love of painting dogs etc. when he depicts these things, especially in such highly charged religious representations.
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PostSubject: Re: The Doggy Thread   Sat 17 Nov 2012, 17:05

Or are the two figures on the right in the Tintoretto painting meant to represent yet another father with a sick and/or crazy son? Is an appeal being made here - even to a scourged and humiliated Christ - for mercy, and for a miracle?
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PostSubject: Re: The Doggy Thread   Sat 17 Nov 2012, 19:08

Deleted.


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PostSubject: Re: The Doggy Thread   Sat 17 Nov 2012, 20:49

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PostSubject: Re: The Doggy Thread   Sun 18 Nov 2012, 03:11

And here's something rather more cheerful from me - a dog playing the bagpipes, c.1300.



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PostSubject: Re: The Doggy Thread   Sun 18 Nov 2012, 07:45

... and with, perhaps appropriately considering the likely sound, a cat's head at the top of the bag..... so it's a sort of bagpusspipes.

Oh, and I forgot to add how much I liked the Tintin quiffs on the heads of Trike's Cerberus, makes the fearsome beast look quite cute... either that or eternally bemused, with permanent question marks above each head.
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PostSubject: Re: The Doggy Thread   Mon 19 Nov 2012, 08:35

Fearsome beasts may soon be reappearing. There is a discussion at the moment on the re-introduction of bears, wolves and lynx to the British countryside. Bears are probably out of the question, the other two are possibilities, though there is opposition from farmers and ramblers.

http://www.wildwoodtrust.org/files/reintroduction-large-carnivores.pdf
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PostSubject: Re: The Doggy Thread   Mon 19 Nov 2012, 10:16

Well I'm all in favour of reintroductions. We occasionally get the odd wolf in the area, that seems to have wandered in from Spain or from Eastern France or from further North up the Pyrenees. And the neighbours spotted a lynx in their bit of woodland earlier this year. A couple of guests thought they saw 'a huge black cat like a puma' crossing my field last week, but I think that was probably due to an excess of pastis!

There have been a few reports of wolf 'attacks' on people in mountainous regions of eastern France where there are considerably larger wolf populations but I suspect many of these are greatly exaggerated: funny how it's always a sheep farmer (with a vested interest in getting wolves shot) that gets attacked, never a dairy famer, walker, camper, bird watcher, forestry worker, etc. And frankly the local wild boar population here is getting out of control while at the same time hunting seems to be skewing the local pig demographics. Trophy hunters tend to go for the older, wilier, more impressive individuals while leaving hundreds of the younger ones ..... and it is the herds of little piggies that do most of the damage, although here they are really just culling to try and keep the numbers in check because we don't have enough wolves, lynx or bears.


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PostSubject: Re: The Doggy Thread   Mon 19 Nov 2012, 10:33

We have a fair bit of experience of reintroductions up here - ospreys, sea eagles, beavers and so on. The farmers are moaning about the sea eagles but they are doing a lot for tourism in Mull etc.
In the case of the beavers, there's a lot more 'unofficial' ones out there then the 'official' group at Knapdale, on Tayside there's been a thriving population for years. Some think they date back to the 50s but some speculate that, in fact, they never became fully extinct at all.

http://www.highlandperthshirenews.co.uk/general-landuse-environment/the-tayside-beavers-a-400-year-conspiracy-of-silence

Bring back the wolves! The red deer population is out of hand in some parts and a healthy wolf pack would be a far better, and revenue producing, solution than mass culls.
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PostSubject: Re: The Doggy Thread   Mon 19 Nov 2012, 11:30

Interesting article about the beavers suggesting that they might never have actually become exinct. It is certainly true that 'official' records tend often to under-estimate the distributions of wild animals, who of course are generally free to wander. Officially there are no wolves or lynx here in the south-eastern Pyrenees... but the current wolf sighting comes from a group of naturalists who have considerable evidence (sightings, prints, droppings etc) that wolves have been wandering into the area for many years - the lynx sighting likewise.

Officially griffin vultures were reintroduced into Southern France some years ago but again local people will tell you that they've always been here. I am not at all surprised that a bird that can easily travel hundreds of kilometres a day should find its way from either Spain or North Africa back to an old established haunt in France. Either way they are certainly now doing well with a resident breeding population. My house is situated at the head of a valley which seems to create just the right updraughts... sometimes I have had over a dozen vultures circling upward on the thermals over the garden. They are very big powerful birds (with a wingspan of over 2m) but they don't seem to cause any real problems even with local sheep farmers and indeed they're actually attracting quite a lot of tourists to the area.

It's all good as far as I'm concerned .... although the cats do tend to hide under the garden furniture when there are vultures circling above the house!


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PostSubject: Re: The Doggy Thread   Mon 19 Nov 2012, 12:19

Wolves would also control the fox population, good news if you're a capercaillie. Reintroducing lynx would not be so good news for capercaillies.

This is interesting, a plan to bring back the European Auroch;

http://www.taurosproject.com/
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PostSubject: Re: The Doggy Thread   Mon 19 Nov 2012, 13:17

Of course the capercaillies are reintroductions as well. Not quite as striking as aurochs but it's a pity that there aren't more of the old White Cattle left. The Cadzow herd is still there but I think there may be very few others.
Nice picture from 1904
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PostSubject: Re: The Doggy Thread   Mon 19 Nov 2012, 17:13

The Chillingham cattle in Northumberland are another lot ... enclosed centuries ago and maintained as a self-sufficient but isolated group ever since. They are all white too, which is obviously not a natural wild trait, but they do still exhibit the nervous, wiley nature of wild cattle... they will form a defensive ring if people approach too close and will attack if they feel really threatened. They also still live in separate herds/family groups, each with an alpha bull and his immediate family, and they are at liberty all the year round within the enclosed wooded estate, which fortunately is just about big enough.

http://www.chillinghamwildcattle.com/
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PostSubject: Re: The Doggy Thread   Mon 19 Nov 2012, 18:46

Not a re-introduction as such but hopefully a narrow escape from complete extinction.
The
death of Galápagos tortoise Lonesome George this summer was thought to
mark the extinction of a subspecies, but a new study hints that the
reptile may not have been the last of his kind after all,
livescience.com reported. Researchers from Yale University recently
trekked to the northern tip of Isabella Island, the largest of the
Galápagos, and collected DNA from more than 1,600 giant tortoises. The
genetic samples showed that 17 of these tortoises were hybrids that had a
parent like Lonesome George from the subspecies Chelonoidis abingdoni.
What's more, five of those hybrids were juveniles, suggesting purebred C
abingdoni tortoises may still be roaming a remote part of the island.
"Our goal is to go back this spring to look for surviving individuals of
this species and to collect hybrids," Yale ecology researcher Gisella
Caccone said in a statement. "We hope that with a selective breeding
program, we can reintroduce this tortoise species to its native home."
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PostSubject: Re: The Doggy Thread   Mon 19 Nov 2012, 20:02

Perhaps we should have another thread for extinctions, re-introductions, etc. NZ has the unenviable position of being one of the worst countries for endangered/extinct animals. Flightless fearless birds, cats and dogs at pets, cleared land, fashion and food, have all combined to make the lives of many natives tenuous. Only native mammals - two species of small bats.

Moa gone, huia gone, giant eagle gone, kiwi holding on just, black robin romantically saved, kokako and kakapo not doing well. Etc. We can't reintroduce them - they're not around to be reintroduced.
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PostSubject: Re: The Doggy Thread   Tue 20 Nov 2012, 08:41

Back to doggy stuff. Miss Muriel Crooke and Mrs Rosamund Bond, two German Shepherd enthusiasts, founded the first British guide dogs for the blind training school in Wallasey in 1931.



The first group of four, from the left, Allan Caldwell and Flash, G W Lamb and Meta, Musgrave Frankland and Judy, Thomas ap Rhys and Folly.
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PostSubject: Re: The Doggy Thread   Fri 07 Dec 2012, 15:16

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PostSubject: Re: The Doggy Thread   Sat 08 Dec 2012, 08:25

No one seems to have picked up on this current news story ...

Who's a clever doggy then?


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PostSubject: Re: The Doggy Thread   Wed 06 Mar 2013, 12:55

Judy, the only dog to be registered as a prisoner of war;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judy_(dog)
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PostSubject: Re: The Doggy Thread   Thu 07 Mar 2013, 12:29

The story of Sergeant Stubby;

http://www.governorsfootguard.com/stubby/

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PostSubject: Re: The Doggy Thread   Fri 08 Mar 2013, 10:16

The DNA of a 33,000 year old dog found in Siberia confirms that he/she is more closely related to modern dogs rather than wolves. And is the possible ancestor of today's Siberian Samoyd, originally bred to herd and guard reindeer.

Combined with another early dog found in today's Belguim researchers now believe that the domestication of the dog was earlier than thought and was multi-regional, without a single place of origin.

http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/03/2013/dna-of-33000-year-old-domesticated-dog-revealed
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PostSubject: Re: The Doggy Thread   Sun 10 Mar 2013, 22:49

Not historical but a contender for the Researching the Bleedin' Obvious award of the year so far. http://phys.org/news/2012-05-agreeableness-linked-aggressive-dogs.html#nRlv
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PostSubject: Re: The Doggy Thread   Sun 02 Jun 2013, 17:29

When explorer George Vancouver arrive in Puget Sound on the North West coast of America in 1798, he noticed that the locals had dogs which looked to have been sheared.On investigation, he was informed that in winter, the dogs have thick, soft coats, which were shorn in summertime. The fleeces, when woven with goat hair or eiderdown produced a cloth of exceptional density and warmth. In the absence of sheep, the natives had dogs. The practice came to an end when the Hudson Bay Company flooded the market with cheap woollen blankets.

.........................

During World War One, an appeal was made for dogs to go into the Army. So many dogs were offered to the training school that the commander, Colonel Richardson, ordered his selectors to reject thos dogs which carried their tails in a jaunty manner as this was deemed to be flippancy of personalilty and therefore unsuitable for military discipline.

........................

Both stories taken from this quarters edition of Companions the PDSA magazine.
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PostSubject: Re: The Doggy Thread   Fri 14 Jun 2013, 10:43

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PostSubject: Re: The Doggy Thread   Fri 14 Jun 2013, 18:00

That was intesresting Trike. It’s intriguing that that trait for "domesticity" (however one defines it) in dogs seems fairly conclusively to be primarily genetic and that it comes linked with other traits: whiteness/piebald colouration, short legs, shortened tail, short muzzle, high domed-head etc. These are exactly the same traits that accompany "domesticity" in pigs and cattle, as is clear if you compare the skull of a wild boar with that of a domestic pig, or that of an aurochs with a modern cow. Also so-called "wild" cattle (actually mediaeval domestic breeds, although unimproved for centuries and still not exactly "tame") … they too are very often white: I’m thinking of say, the Chillingham cattle of Northumberland or the Cadzow cattle of Scotland. This again suggests that pale/white colouration, as a trait, tags along (genetically) with behavioural domesticity (until subsequently bred out to get modern cattle breeds) and actually goes against what I once read, which was the suggestion that the trait of whiteness was deliberately bred in by selection, to allow domestic but free ranging animals to be more easily separated from the truly wild cattle, ie the native aurochs. 

I seem to remember that the evolutionary palaeontologist Stephen Gould devoted quite a few essays on exactly these same themes: namely that domesticity, for whatever reason, and in a wide range of different animal species, seems to go hand-in–hand with an "infantile" anatomy, and that while the young of many mammals are lighter in colouration than adults only domesticated animals tend to retain this juvenile colouration into adulthood. (Gould of course used the classy scientific term for retaining juvenile anatomy and other traits into adulthood ... but I just can't think of it at the mo')*.

EDIT : *the term is neoteny ... I think. Nice to know my last remaining half dozen brain cells can still rally round and work together when pushed ... well sometimes at least!


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PostSubject: Re: The Doggy Thread   Fri 14 Jun 2013, 19:19

And while I'm on the subject of dogs...

@Triceratops wrote:
When explorer George Vancouver arrive in Puget Sound on the North West coast of America in 1798, he noticed that the locals had dogs which looked to have been sheared.On investigation, he was informed that in winter, the dogs have thick, soft coats, which were shorn in summertime. The fleeces, when woven with goat hair or eiderdown produced a cloth of exceptional density and warmth. In the absence of sheep, the natives had dogs. The practice came to an end when the Hudson Bay Company flooded the market with cheap woollen blankets.

This made me think of the Kerry Blue (breed of dog), of which wiki says:

"The coat is the key feature of the Kerry. It is soft and wavy with no undercoat. The texture is similar to that of fine human hair and like human hair does not shed but continues to grow throughout the year. This means the Kerry Blue requires very regular grooming (at least once per week) and clipping an average of every 6 weeks."


I was told (by a Kerry Blue owner) that Kerrys, as well as being general terrier type dogs, were also used for their wool/hair. Seeing as they apparently need to be clipped every 6 weeks this might indeed make sense. But I don't know if it is true .... was/is there a tradition in Ireland of using Kerry dog hair to make fine, high quality yarn for weaving/knitting blankets, jerseys etc?
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PostSubject: Re: The Doggy Thread   Fri 14 Jun 2013, 23:21

Now that's interesting; I've read that domesticated animals, dogs and cats in particular, are in an extended 'childhood' and display the lower levels of aggression, higher sociability and somewhat reduced territoriality that typifies the young but not that they retain an immature anatomy as well. It might suggest that by selecting for those behavioural characteristics we have also selected for the anatomical indicators of the immature animal as well.
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PostSubject: Re: The Doggy Thread   Fri 15 Nov 2013, 14:21

Domesticated canines are believed to date back further than previously thought;

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-24946944
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PostSubject: Re: The Doggy Thread   Wed 11 Dec 2013, 10:45

The Brown Dog Riots which started in December 1907;

http://www.brown-dog.info/about/brown-dog-affair/
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PostSubject: Re: The Doggy Thread   Thu 09 Jan 2014, 16:05

Dogs poop in accordance with the earth's magnetic field. Eh? 


Now, a team of 12 scientists from universities in Germany and the Czech Republic have come together in a unique study that observed 37 breeds of dog over a two-year period.
Exactly 1,893 defecations and 5,582 urinations later, the team reach one incredible finding: "dogs preferred to excrete with the body being aligned along the north–south axis".

http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2014/jan/08/dogs-defecate-earths-magnetic-field-research-finds

Oh no, our loo is on the northeast-southwest alignment, I wonder if it matters?  affraid
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PostSubject: Re: The Doggy Thread   Fri 10 Jan 2014, 09:25

Dogs are spiritual beings, ID. Shirley says so.....so it must be true;



"All knowledge,the totality of all questions and answers, is contained in the dog"


Franz Kafka
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PostSubject: Re: The Doggy Thread   Fri 10 Jan 2014, 12:53

@Triceratops wrote:




"All knowledge,the totality of all questions and answers, is contained in the dog"


Franz Kafka

Next time I need a question answered I'll ask a dog then ..... over the Christmas break I watched and quite enjoyed the 2005 "Lassie" film ...  and I had tears in my eyes when Toots (a little dog Lassie met on her travels home) died.  Peter O'Toole was in it as the laird who bought Lassie - Samantha Morton and John Lynch played the parents of the little boy who owned Lassie before the laird and Peter Dinklage and Nicholas Lindhurst were in the film too.
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PostSubject: Re: The Doggy Thread   Fri 10 Jan 2014, 13:39

@LadyinRetirement wrote:



Next time I need a question answered I'll ask a dog then ..... over the Christmas break I watched and quite enjoyed the 2005 "Lassie" film ...  and I had tears in my eyes when Toots (a little dog Lassie met on her travels home) died.  Peter O'Toole was in it as the laird who bought Lassie - Samantha Morton and John Lynch played the parents of the little boy who owned Lassie before the laird and Peter Dinklage and Nicholas Lindhurst were in the film too.

Please tell me they didn't try and do Scottish accents( assuming it was set in Scotland)

Another doggy quote;

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PostSubject: Re: The Doggy Thread   Fri 10 Jan 2014, 14:03

Trike, in the film Lassie escapes from a place in Scotland and makes it back to Yorkshire ..... You can breath again, the ones with Scottish accents were to the best of my knowledge actually Scots actors ... Gregor Fischer (who played Rab C Nesbitt) and somebody whose face I knew but not the names as dog-catchers and others whose names I didn't know.  The other accents were either "posh" or northern English (though Nicholas Lindhurst sounded like he did playing "Rodney" in "Only Fools and Horses"..  Peter Dinklage assumed an Irish accent which to be fair (to me at least but then I'm not from the Emerald Isle) didn't sound too bad though his American accent did come through a little at times.


Last edited by LadyinRetirement on Sat 26 Apr 2014, 21:15; edited 1 time in total
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