Sunday, December 12, 2010

Canine Elimination Problems

According to Karen Overall in her book, Clinical Behavioral Medicine for Small Animals, there are 11 possible reasons for a dog’s potty training to break down. They are:
  1. A medical condition
  2. Incomplete potty training
  3. Lack of access to an appropriate potty place
  4. Surface preference (will go on grass but not on pavement; the carpet but not grass)
  5. Anxiety, most often separation anxiety
  6. Marking
  7. Submissive urination
  8. Excitement urination
  9. Elimination associated with fear
  10. Attention-seeking
  11. Geriatric incontinence
When your dog has a second potty accident in the house, do two things: 1) start journaling the accidents (what, when, where) and 2) make an appointment with your vet. Ruling out common medical conditions like urinary tract infections and gastrointestinal issues will help you determine if the issue is behavioral in origin.

If your vet says there is no medical condition involved, determine – by observation and journaling – which of the other 10 possibilities might be playing a part in your dog’s inappropriate elimination. Engage the services of a dog trainer or behaviorist if you are unable to correct the problem.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Soldiers & the TSA

Brown Dog usually sticks to dog-related topics. This story, however, made his hackles go so far up, he decided he had to share it with you.
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As the Chalk Leader for my flight home from Afghanistan, I witnessed the following:

When we were on our way back from Afghanistan, we flew out of Baghram Air Field. We went through customs at BAF, full body scanners (no groping), had all of our bags searched, the whole nine yards. Our first stop was Shannon, Ireland to refuel. After that, we had to stop at Indianapolis, Indiana to drop off about 100 folks from the Indiana National Guard. That's where the stupid started.

First, everyone was forced to get off the plane-even though the plane wasn't refueling again. All 330 people got off that plane, rather than let the 100 people from the ING get off. We were filed from the plane to a holding area. No vending machines, no means of escape. Only a male/female latrine.

It's probably important to mention that we were ALL carrying weapons. Everyone was carrying an M4 Carbine (rifle) and some, like me, were also carrying an M9 pistol. Oh, and our gunners had M-240B machine guns. Of course, the weapons weren't loaded. And we had been cleared of all ammo well before we even got to customs at Baghram, then AGAIN at customs.

The TSA personnel at the airport seriously considered making us unload all of the baggage from the SECURE cargo hold to have it reinspected. Keep in mind, this cargo had been unpacked, inspected piece by piece by U.S. Customs officials, resealed and had bomb-sniffing dogs give it a one-hour run through. After two hours of sitting in this holding area, the TSA decided not to reinspect our Cargo-just to inspect us again: Soldiers on the way home from war, who had already been inspected, reinspected and kept in a SECURE holding area for 2 hours. Ok, whatever. So we lined up to go through security AGAIN.

This is probably another good time to remind you all that all of us were carrying actual assault rifles, and some of us were also carrying pistols.

So we're in line, going through one at a time. One of our Soldiers had his Gerber multi-tool. TSA confiscated it. Kind of ridiculous, but it gets better. A few minutes later, a guy empties his pockets and has a pair of nail clippers. Nail clippers. TSA informs the Soldier that they're going to confiscate his nail clippers. The conversation went something like this:

TSA Guy: You can't take those on the plane.

Soldier: What? I've had them since we left country.

TSA Guy: You're not suppose to have them.

Soldier: Why?

TSA Guy: They can be used as a weapon.

Soldier: [touches butt stock of the rifle] But this actually is a weapon. And I'm allowed to take it on.

TSA Guy: Yeah but you can't use it to take over the plane. You don't have bullets.

Soldier: And I can take over the plane with nail clippers?

TSA Guy: [awkward silence]

Me: Dude, just give him your damn nail clippers so we can get the f**k out of here. I'll buy you a new set.

Soldier: [hands nail clippers to TSA guy, makes it through security] To top it off, the tsa demanded we all be swabbed for "explosive residue" detection. Everyone failed, [go figure, we just came home from a war zone], because we tested positive for "Gun Powder Residue". Who the F**K is hiring these people?

This might be a good time to remind everyone that approximately 233 people re-boarded that plane with assault rifles, pistols, and machine guns-but nothing that could have been used as a weapon. Can someone please tell me What the F**K happened to OUR country while we were gone?

Sgt. Mad Dog Tracy
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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Premature Death

Dogs rely on their humans for everything. Food and water. Shelter. Medical care. Play. Companionship. Love. And to keep them safe from harm.

Too often, their humans let them down.

This time it was two young dogs playing in the backyard without supervision. They played rough - chasing each other, rolling, bumping, and running. They mouthed each other's ears, scruffs, tails, and legs, sometimes pulling one another by a body part. Dogs do it all the time. This time, however, normal play ended in tragedy.

Have you ever heard a dog screaming in pain? When one of these pups went for the scruff of the other, he got collar instead. His lower jaw got caught in the other pup's collar, causing immediate pain. As he frantically twisted, jumped and whirled to get loose, the collar on his playmate's neck got tighter and tighter.

By the time the owner got outside and separated the dogs, the strangled pup was in dire condition. She was rushed to the emergency vet, where she went into cardiac arrest, was given CPR three times, and finally - even though this sweet puppy started the day strong and healthy - she died, her lungs filled with blood.

You are your dog's guardian. Take the job seriously.

Earlier this year, my Bark Radio co-host, Terry Griffith, experienced a similar incident with his Cattle Dog, Surrey. We talked about it in an episode of the show called "Not Ready for the Rainbow Bridge".