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Jul 1

The dog dies…a cautionary list. (145 books)

Posted on Wednesday, July 1, 2015 in Links, Literature

The dog dies…a cautionary list.

Read more here.

Apr 9

When I went shopping today…

Posted on Thursday, April 9, 2015 in My life

I didn’t expect to have anything to say so soon after my last post, but today when I went shopping, a few things happened.

My sister and I were on our way to the pharmacy/chemist’s to get medication for mum (who has a terrible itch, possibly caused by the shingles she had several years ago). There was this guy who had messy hair and was walking with two girls (and possibly a third one, trailing behind). He was smoking something what wasn’t tobacco, because I know that smell. Anyway, I had a slight headache and after I breathed in the cloud of smoke he was generating, my headache was gone. ūüėČ

A few other things happened, but I’m not sure any of it would be of interest to my (potential) readers. For instance, while I was waiting outside the pharmacy/chemist’s three little boys ran past, one of them only about four years old. I thought, three boys would really be a bit much. Just then the youngest boy smiled very sweetly at me. So I thought, maybe just one…

I also happened to see a rather unusual little dog (with a young couple). It’s probably a Miniature English Bull Terrier (like the one on the right in the pic below, except I think this one is a male, so a bit bigger).

Miniature Bull Terrier

She began to sniff in my direction, so I said ‘can you feel the doggy smell from me’? The young people holding her leash said a few words to me, but seemed rather giggly and not really interested in talking. Then an older girl (mid-twenties, maybe) came back to claim her dog. I think she was the older sister of the first girl. We got to talking about pets. It was actually quite nice and totally unexpected in this town. When they left, the older girl said bye to me, which has to be a first. People don’t TALK to each other in this town, at least not to us. Except for the poor beggars. I can’t believe I’m even mentioning that. Two-three years ago there were no beggars in Sweden, at least not in smaller towns. Now there are at least a few even in the tiniest towns/villages. It’s so sad that we rarely have any change, or any cash at all, to give them. We sometimes buy buns or coffee or something when it’s cold, but they really want money, to send home to their children.

May 26

Time for a little whining again…

Posted on Thursday, May 26, 2011 in Animals

If you read this blog, it won’t take you long to realize that I love animals. Dogs (some dogs, I should say) are among my favorite animals. My very favorite breed is the lhasa apso. First I’d like to explain that here, in Sweden, it’s quite a rare breed, and is definitely not among the top twenty breeds. As I understand it, it’s quite the opposite in the US.

What I love the most about this breed is their personality and attitude. Don’t get me wrong, I also love the way they look, but that’s really a minor reason.

When I look at the breed sites or read books and printed articles about the breed, I find things like ‘if you don’t like the grooming, choose another breed’. Huh? I love this dog’s personality, like none other (ok, not quite true, I love a couple of other breeds too and basically like all kinds of dogs, like I like most types of animals, period). Should I just decide not to get it, because I’m not a huge fan of all that hairdressing? No way.

Because I love the lhasa apso’s personality, I’m willing to learn and put up with the extensive grooming required. Naturally I want my dog to be healthy and happy. I’ll never learn to love that aspect of sharing my life and home with an awesome, cool Tibetan dog, but I can live with it.

Actually, it’s the same about the amount of excercise some of the bigger or more active breeds need. I love walking, and walking fast, up to a point. Mainly, I love walking in the streets, in parks or in the agrarian landscape surrounding small towns. In other words, I don’t love hiking for days on end in the wilderness or climbing mountains, riding a bike etc.

I’ve also taken the consequences of that, by not choosing a big or very active breed (for instance, I also love, to name a few of my other favorites, the Eurasian dog, the dachshund, the golden retriever, poodles and naturally mixes between similar types of dogs, not to mention some gorgeous ‘working’ dogs that I could only dream about). These dogs deserve to live far more active lives than I can give them, so I don’t adopt them. Sigh. You can’t have everything. I suppose if I had a family member who lived for week long hikes in the woods or mountains or running for hours, we could share a dog. I’m sure no excercise-craving dog would spurn a shorter slightly less energetic walk in addition to their daily runs.

Smaller, less active dogs, like the lhasa apso enjoy about the same type of walking I do – well, up to a point. Mom’s Tibetan spaniel seems to think I’m a cruel bully and a jock, for expecting him to actually move about. His idea of a nice walk is standing still, sniffing lamp poles or ambling along at a leisurely pace, peeing here and there to send messages to other male dogs. But in general, I think my hour or so of walking around the town satisfies my dog and would satisfy other similar small dogs (most tibetan spaniels, the bichon breeds etc).

Apr 30

The brown puppy

Posted on Thursday, April 30, 2009 in Animals

Today when we went to the store to do some shopping – it’s a holiday today, so among other things we had to get something nice for this evening – we saw a cute field spaniel puppy. He was brown and playful and had this really endearing way of looking at you. Of course, just like all spaniels he was wagging his tail. Unfortunately, his owner was extremely strict with him. She couldn’t seem to tolerate any expression of joy. Why get such a sweet breed, if you intend to crush his zest for life? It made me sad. Poor puppy, all he wanted was to have some fun.

Aug 19

Is it ok to be afraid of dogs?

Posted on Tuesday, August 19, 2008 in Whining

That’s a question an upset person asks in a column in one of our major Swedish daily newspapers.

I can answer that question. Sure you can, but you don’t even need to be scared or allergic to harass innocent dog owners. That right is so fundamental that it doesn’t even need to be questioned.

We (a dog-owning family since the 1970’s) really don’t recognize the situation in the question. Maybe it’s a typical big city problem?

In our family we never try to get non-dog loving people to pay attention to our babies. Far too many times we’ve run into animal haters and other intolerant people and we always prefer to stay as far away as possible from those.

This is how it really is in our towns: Seagulls and canada geese are to be shot. Store owners want to follow dog owners home and pee in their mailboxes. (By the way, our female dog would only be able to pee on this store owner’s potted plants if we lifted her up and held her above them, in which case she’d never pee at all.) People awake after seven thirty in the evening should be evicted from their homes. (I’m not talking about neighbors partying all night. Far from it. It’s more than enough if you sneak downstairs to get a glass of water, once in a while.)

A typical situation:

The dog sits down and does her business. (This is a pleasant, friendly pet dog, not a pit bull type). You stand around patiently waiting, your little black plastic bag in your hand. Suddenly a concerned citizen pops up out of the blue yelling that we have to pick up after our dog. What do they think the bag is for? Or are they blind? Which leads you to wonder how they were able to tell that the dog sat down at all.

One ‘helpful’ elderly woman took the opportunity to point out some of the dog’s ‘business’ just in passing, so that we wouldn’t forget even one of them, when standing hunched over, holding on to the bag.

My question is this: Is it ok for us to exist? If not, I sincerely hope we’ll find a better place to live, somewhere far away from animal haters and intolerant neighbors.

Oct 18

Smart Dog

Posted on Thursday, October 18, 2007 in Animals

The other day Fiammetta, my lhasa apso, and I were going into my room. To get there, we have to go through a couple of other rooms first. Fiammetta’s eyesight isn’t 100% and sometimes she sniffs doors and furniture to be able to tell where she’s going. I noticed her hesitating about the direction, even though we walk around the house every day, and I said ‘a little to your left’.

(She might not have been hesitating as much as thinking or considering whether she needed to sit down and clean up or scratch herself. She tends to stop and ponder matters a lot, which can be irritating at times.)

Guess what she did? She did turn left and walked into our room with no trouble at all. Of course, she hardly ever has trouble, but she usually doesn’t get there quite that quickly, mainly because she has so many other things to do, even if I’m in a hurry. I mean, what does human business concern her, right?

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