Rescue People are a Special Kind of People

The average, normal person has been refusing to leave their house during the storms which have been battering parts of Canada and the USA. Not rescue people, however – for rescue people, helping a dog trumps all kinds of bad weather. In some cases, this can also lead to some dangerous situations –

From Denver’s News Channel Seven

A Indiana man who got trapped in deep snow in Saguache County, Colo., survived by drinking Mountain Dew and eating snow.

Jason Pede, 31, was driving from Dulce, N.M. to Aspen, Colo., to deliver a rescue dog.

He told his wife Thursday morning he was following a plow truck, but she didn’t hear from him again.Pede had a cell phone, satellite radio and GPS, but when his Lincoln Navigator got stuck in the snow on a country road off Highway 114 northwest of Saguache, Colo., the electronic devices didn’t help.

Pede stayed in his vehicle, burning some items to warm, but no one found him.”When I finally ran out of fuel, I took it upon myself to walk the seven miles from where I was at to the roadway,” said Pede. “That was my only way of not dying, I guess.”

Great, but how’s the dog?

The Australian Shepherd Pede was taking to Aspen was found in his SUV and taken to a vet for treatment.

Video below the cut.

Read more

Friday Zen – Frenchies and Babies

French Bulldog plus babies equals Friday Zen

These twin babies obviously have a special bond with their own personal Frenchie, Zaboo. Face licking Frenchie plus giggling babies equals fun, fun, fun.

Normally, I would preface any video about dog/kid interaction with some caveats, but let’s just assume that anyone watching this already knows all the stuff about supervised play, etc etc.

French Bulldog Coat Color Genetics, In Depth

Brindle, Cream, Pale Cream, Fawn Pied - Four French Bulldogs, Four different colors

Brindle, Cream, Pale Cream, Fawn Pied - Four French Bulldogs, Four different colors

I’m about to begin a series of posts about French Bulldog coat colors. This can be taken as a warning, for those of whose eyes glaze over whenever this topic comes up. I’m most definitely a layperson, and not a geneticist, so bear that in mind when reading.

It will be broken down into the following sections:

Brindle (which is a coat pattern, not color)
Pied (see above, with pied being a marking, not a color or a pattern)
Black Masked dogs
Fawn and creams (an attempt to decipher the mysteries of the ‘e’ allele)
“Mystery Alleles” – everything else, and then some, from ticking to agouti to Dilute Colors

I’m basing a lot of this on the new, updated coat color genetic information research being done around the world, but in large part on the work of Dr. Schmutz, of the University of Saskatchewan. She writes that DNA and breeding research has identified the following alleles definitively

Alleles known to exist at the 8 genes mapped in dogs, using DNA.

* A (agouti) = agouti signalling protein (ASIP) Examples with photos
o ay = fawn (cream to yellow to red with darker tips)
o sable (some solid black hairs intermingled amongst reddish hiars) aw = wild color of sable (black tips on cream to red hairs)
o at = black-and-tan or brown-and-tan
o a = recessive black
* B (brown) = tyrosinase related protein 1 (TYRP1) Examples with photos
o B = black eumelanin
o b, including (bs,b d,bc) = brown eumelanin
* E (extension) = melanocortin receptor 1 (MC1R) Examples with photos
o EM = melanistic mask Examples with photos
o E = eumelanin or phaeomelanin can be produced in hair
o e = only phaeomelanin produced in hair
* D (dilutes or pales eumelanin pigment to blue, and phaeomelanin subtly) = (MLPH) Examples with photos
o D = not diluted
o d = diluted pigmentation
* K (from black, “dominant black”) = Beta-defensin 103 Examples with photos
o KB = solid black, brown or blue (eumelanin pigmentation only)
o kbr = brindle (on body region that would be phaeomelanin pigmented otherwise)
o ky = expression of agouti alleles that express phaeomelanin possible
* M (Merle) = (SILV) Examples with photos
o M = Merle apparent on dogs that are not e/e
o m = wild type, no merle
* S (Spotting) = (MITF) Examples with photos
Note that this gene is certainly involved in piebald spotting, but may or may not be involved in Irish spotting
o S = Solid, or more correctly, minimal to no white markings
o s = piebald or randmon spotting, also called particolor
* H (Harlequin) = (gene not yet identified, but trait mapped to chromosome 9) Examples with photos
Note that for the Harlequin pattern to occur, at least one H allele and one M allele must be present.
o H = Harlequin pattern of Great Danes
o h = wild type, no Harlequin pattern

Additional alleles postulated to exist based on breeding data

* G (Progressive Greying) = (gene not yet identified) Examples with photos
This gene causes gradual greying of black or brown hair and paling of red hair, prior to geriatric age.
o G = Progressive greying
o g = wild type, no premature greying
* I (Intense) = (gene not yet identified) Affects only phaeomelanin pigment
o I = intense red, not diluted
o i = co-dominant, so i/i dogs are paler than I/i dogs
* C (Colored) = (gene not yet identified)
o C = full pigmentation
o ca = albino
* T (Ticked) = (gene not yet identified) Ticks are small pigmented flecks of color in white spots. Ticking is not visible on a solid colored dog. It is possible that there is a second gene causing Roaning, but that is not clear at this time.
o T = ticked
o t = not ticked

Happy Groundhog Day

Sean and I were hoping to make it up to Wiarton, Ontario, to celebrate Groundhog Day, but work has once again gotten in the way, so we’re enjoying it from afar.

Apparently this year Peta protestors have shown up in Wiarton, suggesting that Willy should be replaced with a robotic groundhog (the same suggestion they made for Punxsutawney Phil, the Pennsylvania Groundhog).

I don’t see that happening any time soon, but here’s a great commercial take off on the best “Robot Groundhog” movie of all time, Caddyshack.

All I wanted was some coffee

I am pretty sure that I’ve mentioned before that we live in the country. This is not, mind you, some sort of mild mannered ‘country’, the buculic sort you get when live 30 minutes outside of a major metropolitan area. This is real country, honest to God, middle of no place, country – the kind where the closest thing I can get to high speed internet comes via satellite.

The upside of satellite internet is that it’s faster than dial up. The downside is… well, just about everything else. Cost, download speed, upload speed, data transfer caps (ie; why I can no longer have a live puppy cam), and weather related slow downs. It’s the weather part that got to me this weekend, in main part due to an unrelenting snowfall that started on Thursday, when I left for work in the morning, and hasn’t stopped since. This accumulation resulted in our internet service being out all weekend long, much to my despair.

On the way in to work this morning, the best thing I had to look forward to was actually having internet access again (real high speed access, no less!). I also enjoyed a last minute argument with Sean, as I was heading out the door, on one of our favorite topics – “Why do you have to spend so much money on coffee?”. This is the argument that only a non coffee drinker can ever dream up, and usually sounds something like “I don’t see why you can’t just get up in the morning and make coffee, instead of stopping on the way to buy it”. I then point out that operating complicated machinery like the coffee maker is beyond the grasp of anyone who is:

a) getting up at 6:00 am


b) is doing so without benefit of coffee

This is, of course, a catch 22, but non coffee drinkers aren’t wired the same way as we normal people, and so the whining just continues until I finally either throw a toaster at Sean’s head, or agree that I’ll make coffee at work. Today, I’d have been better off to go with the toaster.

On arrival (after a 40 minute drive over what is basically just a highway made out of hard packed snow), I grab some water and go to put new coffee in the basket, only to discover that whoever made coffee last apparently did so in some pre historic time period, when cleaning hadn’t yet been invented, because the basket of grinds has congealed into solid chunk of brown potting soil, covered with a fine webbing of mold and cobwebs.  Yum YUM!

Time for a full cleaning, it seems – just what I was most looking forward to, first thing in the morning.

I tear the coffee maker apart, wipe it down, and run three pots of hot water and vinegar through it, to disinfect the coffee maker and get rid of all the scaly, gunky build up. Four or five rinse pots later, and I finally am ready to make a pot of coffee. I run to grab cream from the cooler, and add it to my cup of coffee, only to learn that the creamer has ALSO solidified into a solid hunk of goo.

Cursing the Gods of all things caffeine related, I grab cup and cream and head for the washroom, to dump it all out. That’s when I knocked the shelf off of the wall over the bathroom sink, tumbling paper towels, hand wash and two rolls of toilet paper into the sink full of water and congealed cream. I jumped, and managed to dump half the coffee down my pantsleg, where the chunks of cream cling to the fabric, glistening like half made cheese.

Fast forward twenty minutes, and I’ve got the bathroom pretty much back into shape, and most of the cheese curds off of my pants leg. That’s when the phone rings – it’s a cat lady (it’s always a cat lady, when it comes to Krazy Kwestion Time). She wants to know how much taurine is in sardines.

I need to point something out here – we make raw pet food, but we don’t sell sardines, or any kind of food with sardines in it. I point this out to the cat lady, and she points out that we make pet food, so should know all about all of the stuff that goes in pet food, including sardines, which are fish, and we do put salmon in our pet food, which is also a fish, and so therefore it’s all quite relevant. I fight back the urge to sob, and politely suggest she call the sardine manufacturer. She tells me, not so politely, that I haven’t been any help at all. I concede she’s probably got a point.

I can’t face anything else without coffee, so I decide to suck it up and drink a cup made with powdered ‘non dairy creamer’. This is when I learn that four or five rinses aren’t enough to get the vinegar taste out of the coffee maker.

At this point, I’m torn between putting my head down on the desk and sobbing, or just sucking it up and going out to get some from Tim Hortons. I choose the latter, but decide that I’d better dump out the coffee pot first, to stave off a repeat of the great Coffee Machine Science Experiment.

That’s when I manage to get the edge of the 3/4 full pot of coffee stuck under the edge of the basket, thereby flinging the entire pot of liquid all over my desk, the filing cabinet, the floor, my purse and my sweater.

I am so dumbfounded by this that I freeze in place for about thirty seconds, and then there’s really nothing I can do beyond shouting out “Sean, you will DIE when I get home, I swear to freakin’ GOD”. I did contemplate just getting in the car, driving straight home, and killing him with an axe, but then I remembered that I needed him to snowblow the driveway, so I’ve decided to let him live.

For now.

Oh, and I still haven’t had any coffee.