Afternoon at the park.
Category: Dog Blogging
More pics of Daisy, my new pup.
Harper is slowly warming up to her—probably 60 percent annoyed, and 40 percent happy to have a playmate around again. I’m determined to make Daisy a Frisbee dog, so she tried out her first Frisbee at a neighborhood cookout yesterday. First step: Figuring out how to pick it up when it’s lip-side down. She found this quite frustrating. Everyone at the cookout found it ridiculously entertaining.
Okay, so first with the awkward part. Due to some changes in my personal life that for obvious reasons I’m not going to get into on the blog (and I’d appreciate it if you didn’t speculate in the comments section), I’m out one dog. For lack of a better phrase, several months ago I lost custody of Isabel.
That suckiness out of the way, on to the fun part. My dog Harper I think grew fond of having a companion, and for the last few months, she’s been out both an owner and a playmate. So she was pretty depressed. I checked with the vet, who said adopting a puppy not only wasn’t likely to bother Harper, it would probably perk her up, and could even add a couple of years to her life (Harper is 10).
Also, I would get a new puppy. So everybody wins.
So after looking around for a few weeks, I found a litter of pups on the website of a rescue group here in the D.C. metro area. They were taken from a high-kill shelter in West Virginia. I chose the smallest sibling.
So meet Daisy. The rescue group says she’s mostly Australian shepherd. I’m a little dubious. But whatever she is, she’s damned cute.
Aaron Rochester, a city councilman in Sioux City, Iowa, who led an effort to get pit bulls banned in the city is now appealing to prevent his own dog from being euthanized after it apparently bit a neighbor. His dog? A Labrador.
It’s just an anecdote, but it’s illustrative of the problems with breed-specific legislation. Bad owners create bad dogs, regardless of the dog’s lineage. Bans on pit bulls don’t prevent dog fighting, nor do they prevent people from raising vicious dogs. They just ensure that dogs fitting the pit bull description will be vicious, because the well-bred lines will be discontinued and good owners will stop raising them. Meanwhile, people who raise dogs for fighting will simply move on to another breed.
Moreover, the term pit bull isn’t really a breed at all. It’s a generic term that can and has been applied to just about any dog with bulldog and/or terrier traits (take the pit bull test here). The American Kennel Club-recognized breed that’s generally associated with the term is the American Staffordshire Terrier. And the vast, vast majority of staffies are harmless (they’re actually considered a child-friendly breed).
I hope Rochester’s dog isn’t put down, and instead sent to a trainer. But Rochester ought pay the approriate damages to his neighbor and perhaps take a couple of dog-rearing classes before he’s allowed to own another dog. Maybe he’ll even learn from all of this why specific breeds aren’t the problem.
I’d humbly submit that Gene Weingarten is the best writer working at a newspaper anywhere in the country right now. And he may be the all-time winner in the “writing about dogs” genre.
His column this week is great.
Also, I recommend his recent book Old Dogs Are the Best Dogs, particularly if you have a aging pooch.
It was 90 in D.C. today, so we took the dogs to the wet dog park. This is the end result of a long day of swimming, playing, and sunshine.
This made me laugh.
The trip back to D.C….
Here’s a series of photos that made me feel all warm and Christmasy.