Saturday, 16 February 2013

First Aid for Dogs

 I have always wanted to learn about First Aid for Dogs! Nothing could be more frightening than watching your beloved dog suffer an injury or accident and just having to stand by helpless for not having any knowledge of what to do.  So today I rectified the situation.
 The lovely people from Animal Aiders run first aid courses for cats, horses and dogs, so today we learned some basic first aid bandaging, basic anatomy, life saving and common ailments. But if any of you have ever been on a human first aid course you will be familiar with the 'resusci Annie' mannequin to practice CPR.
 So after we had bandaged ears, paws and tails on these willing subjects..
We learned about resuscitation and CPR on this wonderful 'resusci doggy'   learned about mouth to snout resuscitation, heart massage and where to feel for a pulse on a dog.  A wonderful day with wonderful people.  So if you don't want to just stand there and feel helpless when a dog is in distress right in front of you, you should try this.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Genetic Diversity

 There is infinite diversity in nature.  This infinite diversity is being artificially channelled into very specific lines by pedigree breeders.  A particular set of criteria is laid down as being the pinnacle of breed purity and any diversion from this blueprint is seen as undesireable.  Just look at this gorgeous long haired Rottweiler who happens to have inherited the gene for longer hair.  The guidance for breeders and judges in the pedigree world is as follows, "If a dog possesses a feature , characteristic or colour described as undesirable or highly undesirable it is strongly recommended that it should not be rewarded in the show ring."    So what happens if a slightly different puppy appears in a litter?
 So once in a blue moon a puppy is born different, like this silver coloured Labrador.  It is NOT a crossbreed, but has  just inherited a rare genetic marker for the silver colour. Unfortunately people have thought it would be interesting to find a male and female silver Labrador and try to breed a new coloured dog.  Such a narrow gene pool is fraught with danger.
And every so often a red coloured Rottweiler is born in this way.  The official advice is, "Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect on the health and welfare of the dog."
Nature is wonderful, its infinite diversity is wonderful.  Yes occasionally a person gives birth to someone who grows to the height of 7ft and plays basketball for their country. They are not crossbreed humans, they are just different and wonderful.  The sad fact is that some dogs  do not come up to the high standards of pedigree breeders.  Is this bigotry or racism?