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kotmj

Gloriously off-topic

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The harness was altered recently by me to fit him.

 

I have been receiving unsolicited advice from pet shop owners about the stuff to feed my dog. I would enter the shop with my dog (one pet shop owner told me, "Dogs are not allowed in here! What happens when a Malay customer comes in?" to which I thought "Who makes you more money, the owner of a large-breed juvenile Golden Retriever, or the owner of a cat?"). There is also a lot of discussion on the dog forums about the best kibble to feed your dog. It boggles my little limited brain what appears to be the widespread practice of feeding a dog exclusively one brand of kibble for an extended period of time. Years on end. One brand of kibble. And how you have to make the transition, if necessary, from one brand of kibble to the next, gradually.

 

I thought there must be some sort of special intelligent formula to the damned kibbles. The pet shop owner mentioned above says, "Buy Eukanuba! Don't feed him the cheap stuff. Don't feed him random stuff. There is a difference."

 

Today, I took the trouble to read the ingredients lists of some of these "premium" kibbles, including Eukanuba. The first three ingredients are poultry by-products, including poultry bone meal. Can somebody tell me what is so special about feeding a dog parts of the chicken that even McD would not use in its nuggets? Feeding a dog wastes from the meat processing industry, and chicken at that?

 

Chicken is the lowest grade of meat you could buy. I do not eat regular supermarket chicken myself. I had bought some last week to feed my dog but the flesh was so foul I threw it away.

 

I read a 1918 manual on dog rearing recently. This was an era when many of the "purebred" dogs were established. It was a period of great activity in breed formation. It was a time when the aristocrats still went hunting with their dogs. The German Shepherd was created then. The American Kennel Club was only 34 years old then. It advised to feed dogs with table leftovers. Any clean food.

 

So today, I did so. Leftover red rice, leftover steamed pumpkin, and raw chunks of beef.

IMG_4875_zps6def70a9.jpg

 

There is also a common wisdom floating around that raw pork has bacteria that will fucking kill you if ingested. Including your dog. Tell that to the Germans. I have eaten bread rolls spread with raw minced pork more times than I can tell. The Germans love it. I love it. Every day, tons of raw minced pork is consumed in Germany.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mett

 

I have settled on a kibble that has lamb as its first ingredient. But no way will I feed my dog exclusively kibble. In fact, I fed him a whole mango recently, chunk by chunk.

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A buddy of mine has several (about 4-6) 'kampung' breed of dogs (a.k.a mongrels). He feeds them cooked rice (overcooked, almost porridge-like) with some whole grains and meat thrown in. Obviously, his household of 4 doesn't have enough leftovers to feed 6 dogs. But its the discipline during feeding time that amazes me. Each dog is brought to her (all are females, for some reason) special corner, and given a bowl of food, which they all finish in less than 5 minutes. 

 

My cats, on the other hand, have no sense of meal time. They eat (or don't eat) when they want to. Only reason I'm keeping them is because my kids love 'em and they keep mice away.

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That many dogs must be a handful. Did you know that the kampong dogs are actually a recognised breed? They're named after the Sungai Telom in Cameron Highlands, from where a pair was brought over to the West.

http://dogbreeds.bulldoginformation.com/telomian.html

 

Unlike the above description, which says the dogs were used for vermin control, dogs have always been used through the ages as hunting partners, where their keen sense of hearing and smell helped compensate our lack in those areas. I even have evidence. Here a page off a book about the natives of Malaysia from the Times bookshop in Pavilion clearly showing a group of hunters, each with their dog, and a bounty of wild boars.

IMG_4678_zps944e6173.jpg

 

Some of the kampong/"landrace" dogs here are direct descendants of the basenji, an ancient breed, and very similar to the dingo of Australia. Here's one very dingo-like dog next to my dog.

IMG_4831_zps89141d90.jpg

 

I shot a vid earlier today of a fetch. He shows more enthusiasm the first couple of fetches, then it dwindles to about the level in the vid, and by the 8th throw he no longer wants to fetch. That's when I know he will sleep soundly that night. Otherwise, he will rouse me in the middle of the night at 3 am to play with me.

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I should have gotten myself a dog much earlier.

IMG_4919_zps3018fff3.jpg

 

And what a wonderful camera, the EOS M, here with the old EF 35/2. I keep wanting to sell this lens, designed in the mid 80's, and get myself a modern higher performing one, but the pics I get are so good I keep delaying.

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Cooked a stew/mash for my dog today. Almost a whole head of cabbage, long beans, carrots, sweet potatoes, peas, beef and garlic. Stew three hours, then mash with a potato masher. Stuffs great into a Kong. Refrigerate the rest. It's the first time I cooked for my dog. It was well received.

IMG_1694_zps007c0193.jpg

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We have a cat infestation here where I live. Too many of them. Three days ago I found a kitten, maybe a week old, deposited next to my car. It was really tiny and young; I thought its chances of survival to be nil. So I ignored it.

 

The next day it was still there. No mother cat to be seen. I thought it might be dead, but no it was breathing. I ignored it.

 

Yesterday afternoon, while out walking my dog, it was STILL there, and the Indonesian cleaner remarked to me the kitten is quite tenacious with its life considering it has neither eaten nor drunk for the past 48 hours at least. That night, it made a huge racket, crying loudly through the night.

 

Then, the next day, which is today, in the afternoon, the damned thing is still there. It refuses to die. Not only that, it has crawled about, and is only 4 inches from my car's tire.

 

IMG_1964_zpsa1121cb2.jpg

 

What can I do? A bath in Johnson's Baby Shampoo. Puargh, the bath water was black.

 

Then, goat's milk administered via a syringe.

IMG_2095_zpsd3ef2193.jpg

 

It's crying most of the time, but is quite adorable when placid.

IMG_2090_zps5e94b868.jpg

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The 40mm/2.8 is not so good at minimum focussing distance. If I had shot this with a macro lens it would have more ZINGGG... to the in focus areas.

IMG_2212_zpsd7dcbcaa.jpg

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So I've owned my dog now for a couple of months, and there have been several occasions when strangers have expressed disapproval of the dog, mostly in the form of very loud phlegm extracting and spitting sounds. I am of course aware that some Muslims have problems with dogs.

 

So, today, I finally took the time to read up about how dogs are regarded in Islam. As usual, Wikipedia has something to say.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_and_animals

 

I summarize the following points to myself:

1) You can hunt with dogs, and eat the fallen prey your dog brings you. (Likewise with falcon.)

2) There appears to be a disease spread by dogs during the time of The Prophet. Utensils licked by dogs are to be washed 7 times and rubbed with earth on the 8th. This is surprising to me. I would have expected a "What was a dog doing licking your utensil?" or "Kill the dog." Instead, it shows you how to clean the utensil.

3) There was a culling of dogs ordered by The Prophet, but hunting dogs are to be spared. In other words, strays are killed to reduce the dog population to contain the spread of an undefined disease.

4) Being compassionate to a dog will get you to heaven. (Parable of the Prostitute)

5) The Prophet himself went to considerable lengths to protect a female dog and her litter from harm.

 

Now that I've reviewed the situation, I find it unbelievable that so many Muslims would deprive themselves of a dog's companionship and have to make do with cats and sugar gliders. Let me say this much: Neither are even close to replacing a dog.

 

There is also this very interesting video I found when I was researching German Shepherds. It's of two GSDs on the streets of Morocco, and how the people reacted to them. No phlegm-clearing sounds. Bricks instead. Ah, but they didn't know they were dealing with German Shepherds, bred by the Prussians for war service as soldier replacements. Never show a German Shepherd any hostility.

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Yes....AFAIK in Islam, it is not the dog that is a lower form of animal. You are right: a fallen prey killed by one's hunting dog is halal, so long as said prey is halal in the first place (provided some form of intent was made prior to the killing). Concerning the purification process (the samak), it is required primarily to maintain a 'clean' state, to enable certain religious rituals - this usually means the prayer. Touching a dog is not a sin - this is where some people get it wrong. Plus, touching something that has been touched by a dog (say the floor or my cat) does not equate to touching the dog itself (provided that the dog didn't leave any spit on the floor), and does not require purification of oneself or said touched object. Personally, I think my country-folk's xenophobia is to blame for this misunderstanding.

 

Did I mention that my neighbour's dog likes to play with my cats? Well, our house-row resident dog is the next best thing to having a dog of my own. We get the protection, the cats have a guardian, and my kids don't have the inherent dog-phobia so many Malay kids were brought up with.  

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I've been walking my dog without a leash for several months now. A leash is no fun for the dog and exhausting for the owner, though my dog can be reminded to behaved well on a leash. It's just I prefer to walk unencumbered -- I even leave wallet and phone at home when I'm out walking. I bring nothing with me. Sometimes I bring a camera.

 

The problem with off leash walking is that my dog occasionally forgets there is such a thing as traffic. Since I live in a semi-rural area, there are not many cars, so it was relatively unproblematic. I also do not believe in shielding anybody or anything from natural forces -- this extends to the interns I once had and which my own boss found to be cruel of me. Buffering beings from natural forces is unnatural. If an intern simply shows no promise or talent for the work we do, they should know it. When I was a child, my tennis coach said to the bunch of us 3 weeks after we started learning tennis: "None of you will play competitive tennis." I found it a good idea to be frank like this. You have no idea the number of young people who think they are destined for greatness when they are so normal. They can't even do simple things.

 

The result of all this is that my dog was run over by a pick-up truck today and is dead. It happened about 3 hours ago. Interestingly for me, I feel quite equanimous about it. He lacked sufficient appreciation

for the lethality of 2 tons of metal travelling at 80 km/h. He really had no excuse: Roads are full of cars, cars are visible (it even had its headlamps on), a Hilux makes a lot of noise which he can hear, you can even feel the vibration it makes from the ground. But he ignored all these and went to the middle of the road. He was run over by the front wheel, then the rear wheel. He made distress noises in my direction (looking at me) and his hips were obviously damaged but he was still ambulant and ran to the side of the road into some tall grasses and lied there obscured by the grasses. I checked just now with a torchlight: I could see his head/face. The eyes were open and upturned. Quite dead.

 

That's where he should have been all along -- the side of the road, not in the middle. I keep having to call him to the side. "To the side!" I would say with the appropriate gesture, and he would come, but only temporarily.

 

There are many mongrels who live to be quite old successfully avoiding traffic. Not this Golden.

 

This Golden is such an affectionate dog. I loved him to bits. I often like to play with him on the floor, and I always envied him. It would be great, I thought, to be a dog like him. What a lifestyle. So carefree, so good natured, not a shred of aggression in him. We humans, OTOH, are violent, murderous apes. We do so much violence to ourselves, and also to others and everything around us. My Golden didn't.

 

I'm thinking maybe a German Shepherd next.

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We are truly the most murderous, violent of apes. You don't see animals doing this.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars_and_anthropogenic_disasters_by_death_toll

 

The one typifying characteristic of humans is this constant gnashing of teeth which no other animal do. A constant dissatisfaction, of never having enough. For this reason politics will also be a stupid/senseless thing to be involved in. It's about millions of violent, murderous, missbred humans electing a few even more violent members to govern their shared resources. Just a whole lot of gnashing of teeth. Not something to invest any energy in.

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I'm sorry to hear that, Jeremy. I haven't been on here for months and that post of yours shocked me. What a sudden, unfortunate turn this thread took.

 

I have a golden myself. I don't remember if I've ever mentioned it. Regrettably, it doesn't quite enjoy the lifestyle yours did: visiting beaches and waterfalls etc., but like you, I love it to bits.

 

I had a german shepherd once, too; many years back, but I never grew quite as fond of it as I did for my golden. Also had a rottweiler. Loved her.

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