Monday, August 27, 2012

"Know that the same spark of life that is within you is within all of our animal friends, the desire to live is the same within all of us." --Rai Aren, 'Secrets of the Sands'

Monday, August 13, 2012

Dog Friends, Coydogs, and the Summer of Dogs

It has been awhile since my last post. I've been spending my time with my grandchildren in Colorado, playing in the parks, riding the train, photographing bugs and making friends with new dogs!

When I first arrived at my daughter's house she was watching over her stepsister and brothers who are all under seven years old. The children spent quite a bit of time at her house over the past month as they were evacuated from their own house twice due to the High Park Fire along with their parents and two dogs. One of the dogs is a massive Black Lab and Great Dane mix named Coltrane.


I am highly suspicious that Coltrane is actually a black bear that the family is trying to pass off as a dog. He has the largest head I've ever seen and carries around 140 pounds of solid muscle. When you scratch his belly he makes loud groaning sounds of pleasure that can be heard two blocks away. He can clear the dining table of scraps in a minute flat and I suspect he finished off half a birthday cake in one gulp when I turned my head to check on the children. In addition to his eating habits, he also enjoys climbing onto my chest when I'm trying to take a nap and sticking his tongue in my ears and nose until I wake up--Coltrane loves attention!

As you can imagine, Coltrane needs constant supervision, and his companion, Lucy, is perfect for the job. Lucy is what is called a Coydog--part dog and part coyote. If her mother was a coyote she would be known as a Dogote.

Lucy the Coydog

Some experts believe the mating between dogs and coyotes is rare, but as always, there are others who would argue that it happens all the time. There is an article online discussing this issue. I suspect it happens often. Instead of taking them to dinner first, the dog may end up as dinner later, (sorry, bad joke), but I've seen plenty of coydogs roaming the Southwest and Lucy is one of them. She was purchased from an Indian reservation and her previous owner is confident that her father is a coyote.

Apparently, there has been experiments in Germany with breeding poodles and coyotes, but Lucy is definitely not part poodle. Her former owner said she was part chihuahua. I was trying to figure out the logistics of that match, but truthfully, she does have a chihuahua look. Coyotes have also been known to breed with wolves. These pups are called coywolves.

Lucy, the coydog, is one of the gentlest creatures I've ever known, except when Coltrane misbehaves. She seems to have taken on the role of his conscience--if he so much as thinks of being naughty, she is nipping on his ears. It's rather amusing to watch since she is probably 1/5 his size, but he clearly recognizes her as the alpha dog in the house and becomes quite submissive to her demands. Lucy also likes to jump up on the bed and stick her tongue in my ears when I'm sleeping. So, I had very wet ears for a few days.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, my son-in-law brought home a new puppy. Marley is his name, and he's adorable. Training new puppies is always a challenge and I've discussed this on my blog before, but my son-in-law takes extra precautions to make absolutely certain any animal he brings into their home will adjust to being around little children. He is also taking extra care to make sure Marley is comfortable with other animals since most of their friends have dogs and the dogs--like Coltrane and Lucy--sometimes stop by for visits. While I was in Colorado, my daughter's house was filled with children and dogs. It was a grandmother's Heaven.


And there is yet another family addition! My grandchildren's other grandparents have a new dog named Hooch. Hooch is a competitor for the largest dog I've ever seen and yes, you guessed it...he also likes to wake me up by sitting on my chest and sticking his tongue in my ears. Hooch is lovable, cuddly, and a rescue dog, saved from a horrible fate. He was being trained for dog fighting when he was rescued and is now being trained by one of the best dog trainers in the state of Colorado to be a family pet.


You may recall from my last post that I also have a new dog, Baby, who we rescued from the desert. This has become the summer of the dog!

Baby sleeping at my feet.

Unfortunately, as soon as I left my camera and computer both broke. I have so much to write about, including a massive dragonfly invasion this summer in the Southwest, and I promise this will come within the next week as soon as my technology is back on track.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Sea Shepherd's Captain Paul Watson

“Remember, always, that it is the nature of a warrior to act. Do not be daunted by the formidable strength of the opposition. Do not be depressed by doom and gloom predictions. A true warrior must welcome challenge and transform the impossible into the possible. Because you are living in these trying times, it is your task to confront situations created by human ignorance and apathy, and focus your actions through love for the future and all the children of all the children of all species.” — Captain Paul Watson in “Earthforce!”

Paul Watson is an animal rights and environmental activist devoted to marine conservation.

“To slaughter grand and beautiful creatures like these tuskers, whether terrestrial or marine, solely to obtain a few teeth indicates that we have not evolved very much since the days our forebears lived in caves and saught to prove their superiority by adorning themselves with teeth and claws.”
― Paul Watson, Ocean Warrior: My Battle to End the Illegal Slaughter on the High Seas

Friday, August 3, 2012

Wild Horses...

Wild horses on the Nevada Test Site.

"When the federal law to protect wild horses was passed, wild horses were managed on 306 Herd Management Areas (HMAs) in 16 states. Since the law, however, the HMAs have been reduced — illegally, mind you — to 195 in just 10 states; six states have entirely lost their wild horse and burro populations. That means that all the horses, once living in viable herds in those management areas (as mandated by law) have been removed.." ~American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign