THE CRITTER THREAD (PETS! not "Criterion disc sets")

General discussions of interest to readers and fans of Harlan Ellison.

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THE CRITTER THREAD (PETS! not "Criterion disc sets")

Postby Gwyneth M905 » Thu Dec 31, 2009 1:07 am

OK everyone, time to have a thread about critters here, since they are so beloved by so many of us.

I'll start off with JackThunderbear, my beloved service dog, whom I trained.
Jack is now with a family who needed him more than I did.

Here's Jack:

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=32433&id=687172825&l=580115b16d
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Re: THE CRITTER THREAD (PETS! not "Criterion disc sets")

Postby Moderator » Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:10 am

Obviously you raised a very fashion-conscious dog there Ms. G.

In addition to the dynamic duo (Jazz and Gig, Dalmatians extraordinaire) we have two cats; Saba and Frankie.

Most noteworthy about any of them is Gig's lack of respect for personal space. (He's the dog in my avatar. -->)

Gig is known for jumping up on the couch and sitting next to visitors, then moving in close, closer, closest until his muzzle is no more than a few inches from their face/ear/shoulder. Then he stares. Nothing more, and for minutes on end. If you move your head, he moves with you. Just staring. It's really quite freaky for the uninitiated.

My cousin once became so rattled he stopped talking altogether, then asked Gig if he would like a cigarette.
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

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Re: THE CRITTER THREAD (PETS! not "Criterion disc sets")

Postby Gwyneth M905 » Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:22 am

Barber wrote:My cousin once became so rattled he stopped talking altogether, then asked Gig if he would like a cigarette.


Since Dalmatians are traditionally "fire house" dogs, I guess that's appropriate -- Gig was just asking your cousin not to smoke in the house. :lol: Unless...did Gig accept?
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Re: THE CRITTER THREAD (PETS! not "Criterion disc sets")

Postby diane bartels » Thu Dec 31, 2009 5:25 pm

Oh, Gwyneth, thank you for doing this. I've had critters of one kind or another since birth. My first dog was my dad's dog, Taffy, also a cocker puppy. She died when I was a puppy, but I;ve kept a couple of memories of her.
To my vast surprise, rats make way cool pets. They are very smart, very clean, and do intereact. My first rat, Stormie, was close to me. He would chirrup a little and I could pet him a lot. I got Snow to keep Stormie company, and they were best of friends for about two years. Then this past July Stormie died suddenly one day, They do not live long. Snow got kinder to me then. He actually bit me a couple times before. But now I can pet him, and he talks more. Pet rats atr not dangerous in terms of germs, if bought from a good shop or breeder. But their bites hurt. Stormie never ever tried to bite me; they have different personalities. I could have gotten closer to them, if I didn;t have the cats.
Gwyneth Jack is a beautiful dog. You are very brave and generous to give him up.
_sDiane or diane is fine. Just too lazy to always type the capital. I know, that=s sad. I was a baby when Taffy died, but I thought it was a riot I typed puppy.
Lori, I agree. I would never trust Bill Clinton on sex, marriage, relationships, though I admire him on other things. For other things.
I am so sad for Adam and Judi. It always hurts badly to lose a beloved critter.
Roger, apologies. I think it was my bad; how I morphed Madison into Minneapolis, I don't know. Brain damage I guess. Too many trashy novels.
Happy New Years all.

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Re: THE CRITTER THREAD (PETS! not "Criterion disc sets")

Postby Gwyneth M905 » Thu Dec 31, 2009 9:35 pm

diane bartels wrote: To my vast surprise, rats make way cool pets. They are very smart, very clean, and do intereact. My first rat, Stormie, was close to me. He would chirrup a little and I could pet him a lot.


hi, diane! :) your rat Stormie reminds me of Nicodemus or Justin from the book "The Rats of NIMH". Have you read it? It was one of my very favorite books growing up. I never realized that they made such good pets. :)

Down near the cable car turnaround, here in San Francisco, there was a homeless man with a big grey rat who was begging with the rat. The man had such a filthy, ragged and scabby appearance that it was truly Dickensian. Do you think it's possible it was a "wild" rat that he had caught and tamed? (I'm not making this story up.)

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Re: THE CRITTER THREAD (PETS! not "Criterion disc sets")

Postby diane bartels » Sat Jan 02, 2010 4:09 pm

Gwynnie,
It is I would think possible it is a wild rat that the man tamed. Rats love food and are smart. If man and rat were lonely, they could have befriended oned another. I have read of things like that in jails.
I need to correct myself. When I spoke of pet rats being germ free, I meant rabies, plauge etc. There is a disease rats transmit, called leipdos or something close. Will look it up, and report back. The rat and the cats had a bunch of treats yesterday. Whipped cream, tiny banana muffins, etc. They are still content and fond of me. Bless them. Diane

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Re: THE CRITTER THREAD (PETS! not "Criterion disc sets")

Postby diane bartels » Sat Jan 23, 2010 4:47 pm

I got to go back to the hospital day before yesterday. They found out what I have which is a relief. It is a right to left shunt in my heart that occurred by its self. They do not know yet if it was a condition I was born with or if it developed as a result of my later injuries. No treatment plan yet. Guess it depends on how bad synptoms are. Adam, thank you and Judi for the books again. I well be needing them to read as I have tests coming up It is nice to have anomals..
The reason why this is here is how joyful all the animals were to see me after two and a half days. And they have been laying right next to me and so cuddly. Even the rat, Snowflake, has been delighted to see me.

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Re: THE CRITTER THREAD (PETS! not "Criterion disc sets")

Postby David Loftus » Sat Jan 23, 2010 9:32 pm

What a coincidence that you should bring this up today, Gwyneth! I spent three hours this morning (less than usual, because I had a noon gig) at the Rose City Dog Show, which Carole and I go to every winter for pleasure and edification. We always meet at least one new breed we've never heard of (this morning was the Xoloitzcuintle -- "show-low-eats-QUEEN-tlee" -- the national dog of Mexico; perhaps formerly known in the US as the Mexican hairless), get to pet and cuddle lots of wonderful dogs, and laugh and thrill to the agility trials.

We went for several years in the mid 90s to check out breeds, and I decided I wanted a West Highland White Terrier. We thought we'd try to adopt from a terrier rescue agency, but Westies NEVER turn up homeless. The terrier lady finally asked us whether we'd consider a rat terrier, which we'd barely heard of before. But Peaches, a 6-year-old, was well trained, very smart, and absolutely devoted. Also loved all humans, no matter whom. So she lived with us for 10 years before an untimely death of a viral leukemia or something.

Carole has had cats all along: a long-hair Birman when we met (name of Shu-Bop, named after the vocal rhythm track from a Eurythmics song), then we adopted a young black cat who is now 18 and still with us (Seki-Tan -- Japanese for "coal"), and a short-lived sweetie rescued from a hoarder we named Purrbear.

After Peaches died, Carole went for an even smaller but similar dog, 7-pound Pixie, a Toy Fox Terrier. Those of you who are Facebook friends of mine can see a short video of Seki-Tan and Pixie at play on my page, down along the left margin. The rest of you can find it on YouTube if you search for Seki-Tan and/or Pixie.
War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. - Karl Kraus

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Re: THE CRITTER THREAD (PETS! not "Criterion disc sets")

Postby diane bartels » Sun Jan 24, 2010 7:44 am

David, they sound like cool pets. It has been my experience too that the smaller dogs can adapt to a cat family fairly easily. I had a calico and a tortoise shell cat years ago, Callie and Emma Jean by name. and I wound up taking ij a stray Poodle terrier mix, Max. They learned to get along quickly and were good friends after a while. Take care, David

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Re: THE CRITTER THREAD (PETS! not "Criterion disc sets")

Postby Jan » Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:27 am

Julie, a few weeks ago. Four-and-a-half years old, from Poland, but my mother bought her in France. Almost died recently from something she must have eaten so we're extra happy to have her still.
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Re: THE CRITTER THREAD (PETS! not "Criterion disc sets")

Postby Moderator » Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:38 am

diane bartels wrote:David, they sound like cool pets. It has been my experience too that the smaller dogs can adapt to a cat family fairly easily. I had a calico and a tortoise shell cat years ago, Callie and Emma Jean by name. and I wound up taking ij a stray Poodle terrier mix, Max. They learned to get along quickly and were good friends after a while. Take care, David


This is true, Diane. When we first adopted Jazz -- who is now a 90 pound dal, fifteen pounds overweight for his build -- he was very aggressive toward the cats. The final straw came when he nipped out at our female cat (who is very shy in the first place), getting a tuft of her fur in his teeth. Faced with the reality that he would be sent back to the shelter if we ciouldn't cure the aggression, we went to a dog training facility in Orange County to work with their "behavioral" specialist. He attached a shock collar to Jazz and we went into a room with a cat in it. (Side note: the collar, we were assured, was not set very high. I reassured myself by placing my hand on the nubs and getting a zap myself before I would let him place it on Jazz.) Jazz, of course, went for the cat, only to be zapped. He yelped, retreating behind Cris' legs momentarily. We continued to talking to the trainer, and Jazz decided to try sneaking up on the cat from the other direction. Zap, yelp, retreat.

That's all it took. Jazz hunkered down and shivered behind Cris, refusing to venture out. Still not convinced this would be all it took, we brought Jazz back to the house, hoping for the best. In our doubt, we hadn't considered one major factor: Frankie, our alpha cat. He's a fourteen pound tabby with a fifty pound attitude.

Some how, Frankie -- who was himself keeping clear of Jazz -- noted the shift in demeanor. Summoning up what must have been a serious bit of courage, he leaped down off the shelves and deliberately walked through the room. Jazz shied away.

For the next week or so we would come home from work, expecting to find one of the two of them filleted on the carpet, but it was rather non-eventful. Several times we had to care for a cross-hatch of cuts in Jazz' nose, signs he'd been curious and gotten too close. He learned, quickly, that cats are sharp at five ends.

Frankie, we now know, is a lefty. And no longer solely the alpha cat, he's the alpha pet (though sometimes he assumes just simply "alpha", which we have continually remind him is not the case -- I suffered some crosshatching myself, but he ended up worse for wear in those instances. We have an understanding).

Jazz is still Hell on strange cats, and merciless when it comes to anyone who rings the doorbell, possums, postal employees and the gardener's blower. As the house enforcer -- Gig is the alarm -- he will rush out to do battle with any threat, which includes Navy F-18s leaving Long Beach Airport. But when it comes to Frankie, Jazz is just part of the posse.
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

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Re: THE CRITTER THREAD (PETS! not "Criterion disc sets")

Postby FrankChurch » Sun Jan 24, 2010 12:35 pm

Gwyn, I want your forgiveness and I will not stop until I get it.

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Re: THE CRITTER THREAD (PETS! not "Criterion disc sets")

Postby Gwyneth M905 » Sun Jan 24, 2010 2:54 pm

diane bartels wrote:I got to go back to the hospital day before yesterday. They found out what I have which is a relief. It is a right to left shunt in my heart that occurred by its self. They do not know yet if it was a condition I was born with or if it developed as a result of my later injuries. No treatment plan yet. Guess it depends on how bad synptoms are. Adam, thank you and Judi for the books again. I well be needing them to read as I have tests coming up It is nice to have anomals..
The reason why this is here is how joyful all the animals were to see me after two and a half days. And they have been laying right next to me and so cuddly. Even the rat, Snowflake, has been delighted to see me.


Diane, do any of your animals show "symptom alert" tendencies? Many times animals can sense a change in a human's blood chemistry by how we smell, hours before a symptom attack. Jack could, with me, and would alert me by whining and pawing and butting my hands until I took medication. Weird, but true. You might be able to make a service animal out of one of your pets, and then be legally able to bring said pet along with you where ever you go. They would have to wear a little vest designating them as a service animal.

It does take a heap of training to make a pet animal a service animal, since the bar is so much higher for good behavior in public for a service animal, but I could help you out with that with some good books. I think I still have some left in the piles around my apartment. :(
***********
Steven, I had to LOL at Jazz's antics with the cats. I know it's not funny and could have been potentially tragic. Still, shock collar training, when PROPERLY ADMINISTERED, can be a humane way of saving an animal from bad behavior that would lead to a return to the shelter, and probably being put down. The story of Jazz and Frankie (50 lb. attitude :lol: ) is priceless. I was very lucky in that Jack was so friendly around other animals and dogs. He wasn't an alpha male, (although I did have a very close call with another dog owner who stupidly brought her bitch in heat out to the dog park and took her off leash :shock:) and he wasn't submissive. He was just playful and friendly. This is a good thing in a 95 lb German Shepherd Dog!
*********
David, your Fox Terrier and cats sound like dreamboats! I too dreamed of owning a Westie as a child, and Mum very nearly got a Sealyham with an overbite from a show breeder before my grandparents put the kabosh on it. I wanted Milou (Snowy), so we could go off and have adventures you see! I'm glad you gave the phonetic spelling of the Xoloitzcuintle -- my first attempt was obscene in the extreme! Poor little Xoloitzcuintle, they always look cold to me up here in San Francisco.

******
Jan, I couldn't see the photo of your Fox Terrier, from the link. :( I'm so glad she recovered. When Mum was a child, someone was feeding neighborhood dogs ground glass in hamburger and her spaniel fell victim to this psycho. There was nothing they could do for the dog except to put him to sleep. Is she Julie as in "Jolie" for happiness? :)
I want to learn the ways of the Force and become a Jedi Knight, the same as my Father.
STAR WARS (1977)

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Re: THE CRITTER THREAD (PETS! not "Criterion disc sets")

Postby Jan » Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:00 pm

It's the photo after that pitiful dude (who had to disassemble and carry furniture all day). But you've seen her earlier, I'm sure.
Julie for Julie (French name). She's a Sheltie (Shetland Sheepdog). One of the earlier ones was already called Jolly.

"someone was feeding neighborhood dogs ground glass in hamburger"
:shock: Not cool.

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Re: THE CRITTER THREAD (PETS! not "Criterion disc sets")

Postby Gwyneth M905 » Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:14 pm

Jan wrote:It's the photo after that pitiful dude (who had to disassemble and carry furniture all day). But you've seen her earlier, I'm sure.

Ah the moving day blues! :(

Jan wrote:Julie for Julie (French name). She's a Sheltie (Shetland Sheepdog). One of the earlier ones was already called Jolly.

And it's just hit my slow-moving brain that Julie is your avatar who shouts out pithy comments! :D

Jan wrote:"someone was feeding neighborhood dogs ground glass in hamburger"
:shock: Not cool.

I hate to say this, but...it was during WWII and Mum's family's background, and surname, is German. A lot of people in my neighborhood (well, I wasn't along yet) were "German" as well. So it might have been someone's strike against the "evil Nazis". :(
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