Blog graveyards; photography; MIA dogs; dog food

Lots to talk about today.  I mentioned quite a while ago the “other” Border Collie Blogs, which I admit, I do look at because I’m a curious person.  I like to see what other people are doing.  It is definitely a case of morbid curiosity.  There are some blogs that I read that I do care about and I’m glad to see most of them are being kept up.  So darned, when I log on to get my morbid fix am I ever disappointed to see that there’s been no updates.  I suppose I’ll have to get my fix elsewhere.

It’s pretty easy keeping this journal up.  Writing is easy for me.  I have a lot of interests and passions so I almost always have something to write about.  My life is pretty darned busy, full and rich so I have lots to share.

Anyway, graveyards can be interesting, be they blog graveyards or real ones.

The photography class that I’m taking rocks!  I was very apprehensive about the photographs I took for the assignment.  I shouldn’t have been.  My images were as good as or better than that of the other students.  That was a boost to my confidence.  I learned many more things about how my camera works and we started working with Photoshop CS2.  We are working on Macs in the class, which is a bit of a culture shock, but I’m making due.  Macs make me laugh actually, they are silly machines.  PCs are stogy.  The assignment for next week is similar to the one for last week.  Last week we worked on exposure compensation so we could see how our cameras’ meters worked under different lighting conditions and if exposure compensation was necessary.  My camera seems to work best if I expose my pictures one or two exposures up.  It was interesting to see that those who have Nikons in the class saw the same results while the ones who had Canons saw different results.  Three of us have Nikons, three have Canons.  Our teacher is a walking camera and software database.  I don’t know how he remembers all he does about different models of cameras and software.  He’s really cool.

Anyway, now that I am more confident in my abilities, next week’s assignment is going to go easier.  I have to get out this weekend and start looking for letters.  Originally I was looking for perfect examples of letters.  I learned last night that perfect examples are not what they are looking for.  Instead they are looking to see my perceptions and composition.  That’s cool.

Regarding dog food.  Yesterday I was reading a very popular blog written by a man who has very strong beliefs when it comes to dogs, breeding practices and so it seems, dog food.  He’s down on feeding dogs what we refer to as a species-appropriate diet and calls us food faddists.  He insists that dogs did not evolve from wolves because they act differently sexually and do not communicate in the same manner.  In the same post, he puts down holistic medicine and homeopathy.  What made me laugh was his comment that when asked we food faddists say we feed our dogs meals of chicken, rice and peas vs. mice, rats or road kill.  Ha!  My dogs (and cats) get road kill whenever I can find it. 

He further insists that most skin allergies in dogs have a genetic component or are due to an allergy to beef or milk.  Hmmmmm, I’d be hard pressed to think of a raw fed dog (who will likely eat beef) that has skin allergies of any kind and just as hard pressed to find a brand of kibble that uses beef or milk simply because those ingredients are more expensive than chicken (the primary meat protein ingredient in most brands of kibble).  Regarding the genetic component, he blames a narrowing gene pool which results in lower immune systems.  I suppose it’s too far fetched for this man to see that disease or susceptibility to disease passes through the generations as does vaccine damage.  A narrow gene pool will certainly contribute to this, but so will inherited vaccine damage.  He says that most dogs do not have skin problems, which is untrue.  Skin allergies are very common in dogs. 

If more people would keep their dog’s “dis-ease” on the skin level (the skin is one of the least vital organs) instead of driving it inward with antihistamines or steroids, their dogs would ultimately be healthier.  People don’t want to see their dogs itching so the tend to do whatever is necessary to make it stop.  I agree that poor breeding practices contribute to ill-health in dogs, but so does feeding them meat-flavored cereal, vaccinating them for every canine disease available and medicating them for every itch, sneeze, limp or mental condition. 

In the post, the writer tells us that the mortality rate of wolf cubs is high and a wolf is lucky to live to seven or eight years old.  That may very well be.  The life of any wild animal is a hard one.  Our domestic dogs have it easy.  They don’t have to hunt for their food, evade predators or struggle to stay warm and dry.  Instead they have fat-laden, meat-flavored cereal delivered to them several times a day or maybe even available to them 24/7, are kept confined in an artificial environment complete with air conditioning in the summer and heat in the winter, get minimal exercise and are lucky enough to have the miracles of vaccines to keep them from ever getting sick from an acute disease.  The drawback to this lovely life is that they dog is likely going to be obese, suffer from skin allergies and ultimately will succumb to some form of chronic disease.  No problem though, modern veterinary science coupled with deep pockets to the rescue.  There will be drugs to manage the dog’s disease, and more drugs to treat the next disease and the dog will live a long life.  The question is: what is the quality of this life?

I came home last night from my photography class around 10 PM.  I immediately went to let Gel out.  He wasn’t in his run.  I called and called.  Great, I thought to myself.  He got out of his run again and went looking for Fern.  I brought my bags in the house and intended to get my flashlight and go and look for him.  There he was, in the mud room.  He had gone through the cat door into the house, likely looking for Fern.  Turdball!  He is settling down now that Fern has been removed from his environment and he ate last night and this morning.

We are getting some very beneficial rain today.  The goats are not happy about it, but I am.