Posts Tagged ‘man’s best friend’

My Life with Dogs #9

Friends: I have decided to share with you My Life With Dogs. These Blogs taken from my book, 14000 Dogs Later, may be one page at a time, or more. I don’t want to dump too much on you at a time. I hope you enjoy. Feel free to make comments here, or on Face Book or Twitter. Best, John

Twitter: @prestonbooks
“If you think dogs can’t count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then give Fido only two of them.” Phil Pastoret

We all meet characters in our lives. Those few individuals that mark our places in time, send us into fantasy worlds, challenge our reason for being, or force us to draw on our reserves to complete a task beyond our talent. Edward Tuck, owner of Canine TV Trainers, at some point in time, was all of those men.
Slump shouldered, he stood six feet two inches with an Icabod Crane build…plus fifty pounds. His arms were extra long and hairy and his friendly face pitched forward on a long neck. His expression made you think he was at the ready to explain something. He constantly scratched his thinning hair and pushed his glasses back into place. He did not stutter, rather, he played with words before finalizing on them.
He had a way with animals. He could pick up a Stump-tailed Macaque or a Military Macaw as if he were selecting a book from a shelf. He was never leery or overbearing. He understood their fear of captivity and respected their need for companionship and freedom.
With dogs he was a whisperer. They watched him, rubbed against him, or fought to be the one he would touch or talk too.
He and I met on my third day on the job in the latter part of 1963. It was a Saturday morning and I arrived at 7:30 a.m. sharp. Mr. Tuck unlocked the door and I entered the world of chaos. During the night monkeys had escaped their cages. A common practice, I later learned. They had released the birds and dogs before ravaging the display cases and wrecking havoc with the fish tanks. With a Chinchilla in one hand, a broom in the other, and a Cockatiel on his shoulder, Mr. Tuck smiled. I netted birds while he cajoled monkeys and dogs back to cages and by ten o’clock we were open for business; most animals resting in clean wood chips or eating their particular food. I was exhausted. Carol Burns arrived with her beautiful smile. And Mr. Tuck told her that he thought, “I’d do.”

There were important items I learned very quickly on this job:
Ø God never made a monkey that won’t bite.
Ø Monkeys can pee a fifteen-foot stream.
Ø Monkeys in captivity are likely to kill themselves it they can’t see their next meal.
Ø Only buy de-sacked skunks.
Ø A fox will kill to get out of a corner.
Ø Raccoons can find food anywhere you hide it on your body.
Ø Force feeding a ten-foot boa constrictor is easy…if the boa is hungry.
Ø Walk at night with big dogs.

I had studied about the sit, stay, down, heel, and come commands of obedience training…and that they could turn the most obnoxious problem-dog into a master’s delight. The process was simple. People would leave their dog and then return after thirty days and pick up their fully trained pet. Each evening, after cleaning the store, I would train dogs on the streets of DC. After training dogs, I walked the large cats; margays, ocelots, and twice, cheetah’s. Most times I did not get back to the military base until one or two in the morning. I worked at the pet store on Saturdays and Sundays and most evenings.

pet shop (2)
I came to learn though, that training dogs consisted of more…much more, than time spent at the end of a leash.

Dogs I Remember #5

Dogs I Remember #5. Here is my most recent video. I hope u enjoy. dog and kid playing (2)

My Life with Dogs #8

dog pointing (2)

Friends: I have decided to share with you My Life With Dogs. These Blogs taken from my book, 14000 Dogs Later, may be one page at a time, or more. I don’t want to dump too much on you at a time. I hope you enjoy. Feel free to make comments here, or on Face Book or Twitter. Best, John

Twitter: @prestonbooks The following is the continuation of last week’s blog:

“The precursor to training however is to understand some very basic differences between dog and man.”

There is no absolute scientific study of which I am aware indicating that dogs see color. Their world is black and white, and maybe shades of grey; therefore they see better than humans in dimly lit space. It is interesting that dogs recognize
movement at a much greater distance than humans, yet the human eye maintains focus at a much greater distance then dogs. Depending on the breed, some dogs see further than others and some discern moving objects better than others. Many dogs respond as well to signals as verbal commands.

(On many occasions I have noticed my dogs’ blank stare into the fields where deer roamed. It was only by a concentrated effort that I could distinguish the movement that he so easily recognized.)

Touch appears to be most important during the socialization period of dogs. Once grown, however, dogs may or may not respond to petting, caressing, or fondling. (My son, as an example, has a rat terrier that could care less about petting, and in fact, will back away from such attempts.) Many obedience dogs, however, will work extremely hard for a simple pat on the head. And…dogs seem to respond to physical pain to the same extent as humans.

This is a great training tool for us because voice inflection and the use of single words enhance his understanding of what we want of him. The words we use and how they are pronounced can encourage, discourage, excite, or demoralize. Dogs hear sounds of a much higher pitch than humans, more importantly they hear faint sounds that human hearing cannot detect. (We’ve all experienced dogs barking a welcome or warning of a coming automobile well before that sound reaches our ears.)
This is where the world of dogs and the world of humans separate. Rather than describing glandular secretions, nasal cavities, mucous membranes, and olfactory nerves, I will give you examples. If I set out a glass with 99 parts of water and one part urine…you would drink it. Your dog would recognize not only the urine, but whether it came from a dog or bitch, if the dog were new to the neighborhood or if the bitch were in heat, or if the urine came from his canine friends in the same household.

Their sense of smell is beyond understanding. Imagine a wolf on the trail of a wounded Caribou. The hunted animal might attempt to hide its scent by running through other herds of Caribou hours ahead of the wolves…but the wolves will hunt her down even while passing up easier kills as they pass through the herds. Imagine a hound on the heels of a killer. He may be following shoe traces left on plants and dirt. It may be raining, or snowing and the track may be two days old. Maybe hundreds of people and other animals have contaminated the original traces.

Yet, the dog persists, never tiring, never quitting, until he finds the culprit. It is now believed that a dog can track both an airborne scent and a ground scent at the same time and that his scent ability is more than 40 times stronger than humans. Can a dog sense that a person’s death is forthcoming? A dog has an uncanny ability to sense chemical changes all around…in the air, on the ground, and on your body. They do not know that your death approaches, they do sense the chemical changes your body gives off whenever you have a significant mental, emotional, or physical alteration.

Because his taste buds, dogs are one of the easiest animals to kill. And, believe it or not, there are people that will kill your dog on purpose…maybe your dog barks too much, maybe it’s a thief that wants in your house, maybe it’s a neighbor who has kids and he’s afraid of your pit bull. Through the years I have poison-proofed more than 30 dogs. It’s an easy process that works wonders…overnight. Secondly, many dogs eat trash, antifreeze, or toxic foods that may poison them…another good reason to consider protecting your dog.

There are two methods of poison proofing. One is by using a verbal or leash correction when your dog approaches any food that is not in his bowl. The trainer puts food near the dog’s crate, where he exercises, on the floor in the kitchen, etc. and makes corrections when the dog approaches any tidbit that is not in his bowl.

The second method is by using an electric collar. The electric collar has been used for training many types of dogs for many years. Its use, however, should be under the direction of someone with experience.
If you feel your dog is at risk and you want him poison-proofed you must read about the process thoroughly before proceeding…or better, enlist the services of a professional trainer.

What I’ve Learned: Knowing and understanding how a dog perceives the world through his senses of sight, touch, sound, smell and taste, without question will make you a better owner, handler, and trainer.

So, until next time, remember, everybody needs a dog, and

every dog needs somebody.

My Life With Dogs #7

Friends: I have decided to share with you My Life With Dogs. These Blogs taken from my book, 14000 Dogs Later, may be one page at a time, or more. I don’t want to dump too much on you at a time. I hope you enjoy. Feel free to make comments here, or on my Face Book or Twitter ACCOUNT . Best, Johndog on hydrant (2)
Face Book: Twitter: @PrestonBooks

“Even the tiniest poodle is lionhearted, ready to do anything to defend home, master, and mistress.” Louis Sabin

In 1963 I joined the Army. I was having difficulty at Wheeling College, the youngest Jesuit school in the United States, and to this day believe it was a great two years of education. But, I was not of the caliber of my brother Bob, who had graduated in ’61. So, with grades below the threshold that Dad had demanded, class assignments beyond my capabilities, I enlisted in the United States Army.

At first it sounded pretty good. My friend and I signed up on the Buddy System, meaning we would stay together through basic and advanced individual training. And, through a program called Choice not Chance, we could choose the advanced training that best fit our abilities. The trade-off would be three years of our lives for Uncle Sam.
Pretty good, so far.

We were due to be sworn in on a Friday in Fairmont, WV. However, being 60’s kind of guys, we really didn’t see the rush and decided to party for a couple more nights and postpone our induction until the following Monday.
The United States Army did not approve.

On Friday night at 10 PM two MP’s appeared at our hotel wanting to take us to the brig. Turns out, once you receive orders, they gottcha, even before you are sworn in. So they processed us the next morning…Saturday morning…they seldom worked on Saturday mornings. Man, were they upset.

After basic at Fort Knox, Kentucky, and advanced training at Fort Slocum, New York, I was sent to Fort Lesley J. McNair, in Washington, DC. As an information specialist, I wrote for the Pentagram, the Military District of Washington newspaper. It was a nine-to-five job and after settling in I realized that I had a load of free time on my hands and very little spending money in my pocket. The newspaper want-ads beckoned. And there it was…as if by wishful intervention. “Dog trainer needed. Apply in person at Canine T-V Trainers.”

I had already tried selling pots, pans, and china door to door. And the only set of china I sold was the set I bought for my mom. Dogs can’t slam the door in your face. I knew this was the part-time job for me.

My day job as an Information Specialist was just off base in what were called Tempo Buildings. These were “temporary” structures built during the Second World War. Made of steel they were hot in the summer and cold in the winter…not up-to-date for the only military facility in DC.

I scheduled an appointment with the pet store manager.

After work I walked the two-mile stretch from the military base to downtown DC, found Canine TV Trainers on 14th Street, and entered the captivating world of pet shops. The store measured twenty-five by forty-five feet with more animals per square foot than un-adopted puppies in New York City. Squawking birds, barking dogs, and screaming monkeys drowned all human conversation. There were cages everywhere; jammed on shelves, stacked in corners, hanging from the ceiling. Ten to fifteen birds dive-bombed customers who thought it was a sales gimmick. A mynah bird slung sunflower seed at the cat cages; a boa constrictor’s dinner still withered in his stomach, and one of the employees chased the loosed squirrel-monkey that had freed the birds.

“Can I help you?” the attractive blond lady asked, or yelled, I should say. “I’m the manager. Carol Burns.” She extended a perfectly manicured hand. Odd, I thought, for a pet store manager.

“I’m here for the interview,” I yelled back, her soft hand still holding mine. The hook set; the reeling began.

“When can you start,” the yelling continued.

Noting my stunned look, “Follow me,” she said.

The office was large enough for a small desk, an upright chair, and for two people to stand nose to nose. Personal space be damned. Her perfume was something out of Cosmopolitan.

“There was a small mistake in the ad,” she smiled.

“Oh,” I said, captivated by her beauty.

“They left out a few words. Three to be exact.”

“Oh,” I said, again.

“And cleanup boy. It was supposed to read dog trainer and cleanup boy needed.”

Fresh out of college, half of it anyway, and fresh out of basic and advanced training in the United States Army, and standing nose to nose with this beautiful lady in the backroom of a pet store in downtown DC, I was trapped.

Fortunately, they didn’t need a dog trainer for a couple of days. So I spent the next two evenings cleaning every kind of animal poop imaginable and those same nights studying how to train dogs by reading books from the public library. I had learned from Mom and Dad that taking care of animals was more important than playing with them. Dogs malnourished, chained, and kicked around had always bothered me, and the books I read enlightened me regarding the powers dogs possess and the place they’ve served in our history. And so I studied and studied every book I could find about dogs, training, and their history. When Monday morning arrived I planned being as good a trainer as possible, having little real idea about what I’d do if the dog on the ass-end of the leash didn’t see things my way.

Friends: Thanks for reading, The second part of this story will appear next week...and remember, everybody needs a dog, and every dog needs somebody.

10 Reasons to read The Bog

If you are a dog lover, here are 10 reasons for you to consider reading The Bog, The Legend of Man’s Best Friend:

1) You will understand how dogs were ‘selected’ to be man’s best friend.
2) You will be challenged, regarding the concepts of “coincidence” and “fate”…a challenge that will forever alter your relationship with your dog.
3) You will understand the source of a dog’s soul and his place in the hereafter.
4) The multiple forms of direct and unmistakable communication between man and dog are clearly presented.
5) You will be consoled as to how a dog deals with time.
6) Are they guardians? Messengers? Substitutes? The Bog explains.
7) You will understand what dogs think about. You will understand their gift of Momentary Understanding and how they make choices.
8) By reading The Bog, you will be exposed to your dog’s ‘greatest fear.’
9) Lastly, you will learn your dog’s ‘defining trait,’ and that knowledge may be a life changing experience for you.

10) You will be supporting the Hoops Family Children’s Hospital in Huntington, WV

The Akita

The Akita is one of the most challenging dogs to own. Some insurance companies have even characterized it as the #1 “bad dog” and may even raise an Akita owner’s homeowner insurance costs…what do you think?Akita

Dogs I remember 1-1

This is the first in a series of videos on the 14 personal dogs I have owned throughout my life that have been my ‘best friends’.  I hope you enjoy.


Okay, okay…I may be going out on a rope here and may upset some of you. But, here’s the deal. This is NOT the kind of weather that dogs should be left outside without protection. A thick-coated German Shepherd, curled under the porch, out of the wind, yes. But short haired, single coated dogs, on a chain or running loose, unprotected…let me tell you, they may not live through the night. Anyone seeing dog abuse must accept the responsibility to contact authorities. Period.

Talking to dogs

One survey reports that 33% of dog owners admit they talk to their dogs on the phone or leave messages on answering machines (random facts)

Dog bites

Interesting comments regarding my post on the number of dog bites. Here’s a thought. When walking my dog and folks approach asking if my dog bites, I always respond that ALL dogs could bite. And then I talk with them about the proper way to approach my dog. In every case I have found folks to be appreciative of the lesson.