May 12, 2014

so i am just going to throw a few things out there…

Filed under: General — Carol @ 7:54 pm

and those who are better educated or more informed on the newest stuff than me about animal things can chuckle or sneer or shake their heads in disbelief and simply think i am crazy.

but i do have my own thoughts on some things.

firstly..the de-bunking of “the pack” “alpha,” and “dominence” theories.

i live with up to 40 dogs at any given moment, day in day out for more than 10 consecutive years now..i eat with them, i sleep with them, i play with them and i keep on top of them so they are not allowed to go totally bezerke. and it is not the same 40 dogs this past decade..it is actually hundreds of dogs..new ones coming in, old ones passing on, forever changing populations. i don’t think theories..i live my personal theories with many, many different dogs.
and here is what i have learned…all of the broad sweeping theories are wrong because they miss one very vital fact..each individual dog is unique..physically, socially, enviromentally, spiritually, genetically…they are all one unto their own.

3/4′s of my dogs here have no pack hierarchy, they do not give a rats ass about where they or anyone else stands in the pecking order. they live their life their way. they care about themselves and they care about me. 1/4 of my dogs are firmly entrenched in pack behavior and pack hierarchy..they care about themselves, they care about me and they care about the standings of the other dogs around them too. these dogs do have alpha leaders and they do have pack members scraping the bottom of the totum pole. there are dogs so inherently dominent that they can walk in here brand new off the street and have every other dog give way to them without a second thought. dominence is really just personal power and some dogs have a ton of personal power around other dogs.

the question becomes…which dogs will not participate in pack behaviors and which dogs will?

dogs raised solely and singularly within a safe family environment without a lot of trauma in their lives in my experience display far less pack behaviors. i personally think these dogs are more civilized..but that’s just my personal opinion. in any case these dogs are far more interested in the lives of human beings than they are in the lives of other dogs. dogs raised in multiple k9 households, dogs who have suffered from physical or emotional trauma or socially isolated, feel somewhat bewildered or unsure of human expectations and are more likely to form strong bonds with other K9′s… and that is when i start seeing more pack type behaviors. the more they are interested in what other dogs are doing, the more they are likely to display pack behaviors. pack behaviors are really just pack rules, they are simple and easy for the dogs to understand..not as confusing as human rules. these dogs can have strong emotional bonds with their chosen humans but they are more likely to revert to pack behaviors when their human is not around for them to focus on.

any species that lives and interacts together communally over an extended period of time will have some kind of latent or more readily apparent pack mentality..and this includes human beings.

we are all on some kind of team at some point in our lives.

so to say pack behavior in dogs is a myth or all dogs participate in pack behavior..both are right AND wrong. some dogs do…some dogs don’t.

next…all dogs can be saved, all dogs can be trained, all dogs can be rehabilitated, all dogs problems can be fixed if we do all of this the right way.

no they can’t.

and why is this?..because dogs are not machines.

we are talking living, breathing, thinking, feeling creatures with DNA/genetics affecting them, hormones, neurotransmittors, chemical balance or imbalances, past experiences good or bad, learned behaviors, coping mechanisms, physical health good or bad, including mental health issues as well.
if every person could be fixed into kind, respectful, peaceful, compassionate citizens..well maybe then could also our friends the dogs..dogs brains are not less than ours. they are not a tinker toy to be tuned to our frequency just because we think we can.

finally all companion animals need a home but they need the RIGHT home. luna failed in both of her previous homes..not because she was with bad people..she was with good people who really cared. but luna needed more than that..she needed the freedom to unlock and climb out windows, to jump 5 foot fences, to dig holes to china, to chew up the door frames, to run and to run and to run and to drive her family crazy while still feeling like she was deeply loved and forever safe no matter what crazy wildness possessed her. how many homes do you know like that? not many. which is why she is here. you can’t train this shit out of luna..this need for the freedom to soar past boundries is inherently part of her. she does well here because she can spread her wings safely here. and she knows where her safety lies because for all of the fences over which she flies…she never flies over the perimeter fences…she stays safe within these because this is where she wants to be.

there is no point coming to saints and asking to adopt chloe because you fell in love with her photo and you absolutely adore pure white cats. well..do you adore cats that you will never touch? that have to be chased down and cornered in order to take to the vet, that if she feels frightened and unsafe will hide under the couch for weeks at a time, peeing and pooping under there and you will have to be sliding fresh food and water to her? that if she ever got outside would be lost forever to you? is that the kind of pure white cat that you love?

animals are not the sum of what they look like or what we want them to be. they are the sum of everything inside of them and all of that in infinite combinations make them like us, totally unique. and they have their own personal needs.

they deserve our recognition and consideration of this when choosing new pets to join our families.

ok..blah blah is done.

updates

max cat was at the vets for a check up and xrays..his chest is bad again.

tinsel’s blood sugars are good, but we are awaiting the rest of her blood work to see if something else is going on.

gabby was in also, she is FIV and has a slight cold…no treatment required at this point yet.

anne came out and finished grooming owen..he is a bit of a bald baby for now.

phoebe is such a hag…she bit poor little sparky on the tongue.

vern came out tonight to talk to me about the possibilities surrounding the new permanent pig pools and to look at the big dog room to give us an estimate so we can apply for a grant to fix it up. it is far too hot in there in the summer and far too cold in the winter so we are looking at a total gut job to bring it up to year round comfortable living for the dogs. his wife deanne came out with him..she is one of my nursing buddies. deanne is always fascinated by our animals so we visited the barns and all around. the animals were happy for the break in the usual night time routine. mystic and crew got to run around the fields for longer and luna spent her time flying over fences over and over to impress their sweet dog abbey with her amazing flying ability.

i am a bit behind on the bedtime stuff so i better get at ‘er and get it all done..i think that is all of the new stuff plus another long blah, blah post from me.