- My best friend Charlie the dog and his obsession with natural bully sticks (and me!)
- My fascination for hounds that stems from Hound of the Baskervilles
- 3 solutions to solving the problem of stray dogs in the US
- 3 of the most trendy and hilarious dogs on Instagram
- 3 interesting traits that are common to all Canidae family members
Adoption is a wonderful thing. Couples who don’t have children derive happiness from adopting an orphaned child. This joy isn’t restricted just to children. Recently, I adopted a 2-year old mongrel from a rescue center few miles from my apartment.
In this post, I simply want to share my story and the level of fulfillment I have got from adopting Charlie. Having earlier adopted dogs, I knew the procedure and expectations imposed on prospective adopters. I was at a good place in my life, having recently been promoted and able to maintain a better work-life balance.
As a result, I had felt that the time was opportune to adopt a dog from Ruffy’s Rescue center, the same place from where I had adopted by earlier dog. At the time, Ruffy’s was facing an issue of overcapacity, having gone 12% above their capacity of 110. So they were quite glad to see a repeat customer when I had walked in!
As I walked by the kennels, I noticed a lot of volunteers. Apparently, Ruffy’s had expanded their operations significantly. Some familiar faces greeted me and came by to check what exactly I was looking for. They mentioned a few things about recent adoptions, mostly stories of heroism but a few of tragedy.
After covering a couple of yards, I noticed him. Charlie was playing with a couple of puppies. At first sight, he seemed incredibly happy and content at his surroundings. I did notice a slight limp, which was the result of an unfortunate road accident that Charlie had encountered before his adoption. That didn’t stop him, since Charlie was joyous and playful.
Have you seen those romantic movies, where the lead actor and actress glance at each other for the first ever time and something just clicks? The ever-so-featured cliché of “love at first sight”. That’s what happened between us. As I was walking over to him, he suddenly fixated his adorable puppy eyes on me for the first time ever. His ears slightly wagged and he came running over to me.
Now, most of you would slightly be wary when a strange dog starts running at you. But I didn’t feel any such wariness. Charlie’s sheer joy at seeing me for the first time was infectious. I knew, right there and right then, that he was the one I wanted. I had dog treats in my back pocket ready to give to him and win him over. He thought they were the best bully sticks he’s ever had!
The process was fast once I had made up my mind, and Charlie accompanied me home, his tail wagging ever-so-slightly. It has been 2 years since that day, and Charlie has grown in size. Today he is 4 years old, and the happiest dog you would ever meet. We go walking, running and even on double dates with other dog owners. I couldn’t be happier!
I have always had a thing for Hounds. Don’t mistake me, it is simply an outward fascination. Hounds are fascinating creatures and have multiple skills amongst them. Legend has it that they were the first friends of human beings. They were hunting partners.
The first time I got fascinated by hounds was when I read the Sherlock Holmes masterpiece, Hound of the Baskervilles. You may think, “but isn’t that the one where the hound is characterized as a fearsome, blood-dripping monster?”. Well, that’s true. However, hounds are meant to be fearsome and respected creatures. Obviously, not to the extent as in the book!
Hounds have historically been hunters. They are predators at the core. They used to help humans hunt creatures such as bears, foxes and so on. In fact, ever since the middle ages. I have to specify that not all types of hounds have hunting skills. Scent hounds are used in hunting, and not so much sighthounds.
In the Hound of the Baskervilles, the hound was a black, enormous bloodhound that could scare passersby. For some reason, I found that very interesting. If you are meant to be a hunting dog, you could use a scary dog, like a Rottweiler for example. The first time Henry Baskerville describes to Holmes and Watson the monster he had just witnessed was such a great moment.
If you look at the various type of hounds and the associations they have forged with humans over millenniums, there seems to be a pattern. Certain types of hounds were preferred by certain tribes or civilizations. The French preferred the Grand Bleu de Gascogne during the time of Louis XIV, and the English have had a special affiliation to the Bloodhound.
The day I had gone to adopt Charlie, here were at least five hound breeds at the adoption enter. I was wondering, the hound is more of a premium breed when it comes to dogs. It is classified alongside the Labradors, Golden Retrievers and the German Shepherds of the world. If you wanted to buy one from the common market, they wouldn’t come at the cheap.
My fascination with hounds has remained and perhaps even grown ever since I read that book. One day I would like to adopt one, but the day hasn’t come yet. And when I do, I’m gonna groom him to be gigantic and fearsome!
If you travel around developing nations in Asia, such as India, Thailand and Indonesia, you would notice a lot of street dogs around. It is quite common to see malnourished dogs simply going through scrapyards and bins looking for whatever food they can get. Scavengers, they are called.
The problem of street dogs is a rampant one. These dogs are often struck by hunger and deprived of care and affection. In many cases, they are often chased away by pelting stones at them. It is quite a depressing sight. Left on the streets and ignored completely, they are even susceptible to diseases that arise from a lack of general hygiene around them.
Additionally, scavenging for food off bins can by itself lead to all kinds of diseases. Granted, you can say that these dogs’ bodies are adapted to such circumstances over a long period of time, but there is only so much that the body can handle. Basic hygiene is essential not just to humans, but to all creatures.
And it is not as if this problem is not prevalent in the United States. Just that it is not at the same scale as developing nations. In fact, there are an estimated 50,000 stray dogs each in the streets of Detroit and Los Angeles. You would also have encountered stories of people getting bitten by such stray dogs.
It is a hassle even for the public administration. Stray dogs can cause basic problems such as traffic blocks, accidents and safety concerns. Local councils need to step up to solve this societal problem. But how can we tackle this issue?
Perhaps the most obvious answer to the problem. There are many shelters and rescue centers run by government agencies and NGOs. The key constraint, however, is capacity. Compared to the number of stray dogs in the United States, there is a visible lack of capacity in such rescue centers or shelters. This is one solution, but not a standalone one.
A key problem associated with stray dogs is the problem of uncontrolled reproduction. Dogs reproduce in huge numbers. Even if most pups die during birth, this can still spiral out of control. A solution is to vaccinate and neuter such stray dogs to keep the population in check.
This requires a high degree of proactiveness and courage from citizens in general. Adoption is mostly carried out via adoption centers, rescue centers or shelters. However, many stray dogs don’t even reach such places. You may adopt from such places or from directly off the street. Naturally, you need to take it to a vet first.
As you can see, there are quite a few solutions to tackling this issue. Which is why it is all the more concerning that there isn’t any movement on this front. We encourage all dog lovers and otherwise to take action together.
When Instagram came out, there was this seeming confusion of what exactly it had to offer. Fast forward to now, and Instagram’s value proposition is very clear. And we cannot keep our hands away from the app. It has literally taken over the world.
Instagram has become the hotbed for all the great snaps that we take day in, day out. It offers all of us a great platform to post beautiful pictures. It has also given birth to what is known today as influencer marketing. We have Instagram celebrities who promote products in the platform.
Not all such celebrities are humans, believe it or not! We even have animal celebrities today. People have pages dedicated to their pets and some of them are really hilarious. Before Instagram came along, we would have had a hard time imaging canine fashion divas. So we thought, why not list our favorite dog Instagrammers!
Have you ever seen a dog with an Afro haircut? Well, @poochofnyc is perhaps the only one. This stylish and hilarious half-poodle half-Maltese breed is a self-styled fashion guru. We have no clue how its owners manage to maintain that hairstyle, but kudos to them!
@brussels.sprout is the Instagram handle of Sprout, a Brussels Griffon breed from NYC. Follow this profile, and you can check out Sprout donning different kinds of outfits. If you want to take your dog wardrobe shopping, this is a good reference for you.
You would surely have heard of @jiffpom. Jiff is a Pomeranian puppy and as of the most recent data, is Instagram’s Cristiano Ronaldo, aka the most followed dog. Jiff is a dog of numerous talents, and has recently featured in a Katy Perry video in addition to holding a sprinting world record.
We don’t want to end with this list, but oh well. There are many more dog celebrities out there on Instagram. Do check them out!
The Canidae family consists of many species that we typically adore, such as dogs, foxes and jackals. Even wolves, although they tend to divide opinions. The Canidae is truly a creature of the wild. Its members roam around in packs and are inherently predatory.
While you cannot really stereotype an entire class or family of mammals, one would have to agree that canines are, for the most of it, blessed with great features. You wouldn’t look at a wolf or a fox and say that they are not good looking. It is quite an interesting fact.
The family is quite diverse in terms of height. The smallest member, the Fennec fox, stands at a mere 24 centimeters whereas the largest one, the Gray Wolf, stands at an impressive 200 centimeters. The diversity extends to other factors such as weight, agility, strength and endurance.
Think of the Coyote. The coyote is yet another species of the Canidae and has gotten popular amongst us due to its appearance in animated shows and movies. The Coyote is the very personification of agility, aggression and commitment. It doesn’t give up once it sets its mind on a prey in front.
There is yet another feature that defines the Canidae family – adaptability. Do a quick test and find this out for yourself. You will find a member of this family in any terrain or geography that you wander upon. Be it forests, mountains, domestic households or even deserts (where there are some Red Fox varieties).
Basically, this post simply describes few interesting traits about the family in general. As certain family characteristics run throughout the species present in them, it is important for dog owners to be aware of these. Check out this livescience article for much more on this topic.