Sunday, December 30, 2007
Oh boy, what a weekend.
I wish I could say that in a nice way.
I was "showing" this weekend while 'Drew had a holiday at the park.
I'm almost at a loss for words at the horror of it all. The pictures tell thousands of words.
First, the humiliation of the bath is captured digitally for everyone to see from now until . . . the end of time which, could be none too soon given the way I'm feeling.
Then comes the cutting -- look at it; they are taking off my bleeding hair! I need that hair just in case I decide to be a water dog. What are they thinking? Okay, enough on the water dog topic.
Finally, the ultimate in degradation, humiliation, and intolerable suffering. He puts me in some kind of caged enclosure in which I cannot even move while 'Drew is subjected to the same cruel and unusual punishment in the bath torture. He says, "Satchie, I need to put you in there to keep you clean for the show". My first thought is to soil myself but that would mean another round of refurbishing. It's not worth it.
Then there are the two days of running around the ring when all I want to be doing is wrestling with 'Drew. What's the point? The judge (a plonker if ever there was one) has not a clue. They should have used her in the "Where's The Beef" commercial.
Some of the other dogs I spoke with actually like it. Unbelievable!!
I have to figure a way out of the show world. I can't bite anyone because that would not be Newfilicious. Maybe when the judge grabs my unmentionables I could pee on her. Hey, I like that idea if I don't say so myself.
The misery had ended for about a month, and there was some silver lining in the horror. Karazan Wesley (who turns out to be a half brother --- thanks for telling me Dad) took Open Dog and Winner's Dog for his first major, and he's only been in two shows. And, we met a guy who has some relationship with our Daddy, Phantom, who lives in the U.K. There are some puppy pictures of my pappy on lifeguardnewf.com. So I suppose, in the end and after all the torture, it was worth it. And, now I'm home cuddling up with my best buddy Andrew. Maybe things aren't so bad after all.
Sleep well Wesley. Aunt Claire, you nailed it! Aunt Terri, thanks so much!
I'm on my way to 'Drew because "'Drew, I love you."
Friday, December 28, 2007
The title of today's entry came from a friend, an Italian friend, after seeing The Exorcist.
It is appropriate as today we are going (again) up to the kennels to get refurbished for a show this weekend. What's the point? It's raining today and is supposed to rain all weekend.
Somebody try to explain this to me: they are going to put me in the tub, wash me, spend a couple of hours drying me, all so that I can go into a ridiculous ring just to get wet again?
I mean, I don't mind the getting wet part, but what's the point of the complete refurbishing and wholesale ruination of what might otherwise be a day when 'Drew I and could by playing?
I'll bet Gizzy doesn't get treated like this. I'll bet he's out romping in the snow.
Monday, December 24, 2007
I'm so serious about this adoption thing that I'm running away tonight, with good cause, as set forth below:
Yesterday, we again get dragged up to the kennels and put into the fenced-in pasture while he plays with the pups, takes Paris for a walk, takes Gaia for a walk, takes Baylo for a walk, takes Murray (come on Louie was a much better name) for a walk, and generally disregards us for several hours. I'm at an utter loss over this go up to the kennels so he can play with other Newfies!!!! Aunt Heidi is witness to this cruel and unusual punishment. So, as you can see, the ride home was rather depressing. (Is it true vets prescribe Prozac for dogs?)
Then, today, in some sort of sadistic, humanistic ritual, he puts collars with bells on us and "Santa" hats and takes pictures so the whole world can view our humiliation and degradation. I'd have preferred two slabs of coal in a stocking. And he thinks I'm showing this weekend when Andrew has a hall pass? Ha!!
Tonight, I'm packing up my stuff, putting a leash on Andrew, and getting out of here. I'm not sure where we're going but anywhere else must be better (not them kennels though).
Friday, December 21, 2007
Here's an article that "fumigates some wisdom" about us:
"There are few facts and much speculation about the origins of the Newfoundland Dog. Almost everyone who’s written a book about Newfs offers a variation on the breed’s genesis. There isn’t even consensus that there was an indigenous canine as the foundation. Some believe that the Newfoundland Dog was created solely through the interbreeding of various breeds brought from Europe by early fishermen.
The greatest consensus is on the place of origin – the island of Newfoundland. The commonest theory is that the native people on the island had the foundation canines, and that these dogs descended from Tibetan Mastiffs with two possible sources of this heritage. One conjecture is that when people migrated from Asia to Alaska, across what was then a land or ice bridge, they brought Tibetan Mastiffs with them. The other possibility is that the Vikings brought their big black bear dogs with them when they briefly colonized Newfoundland around ad 1000.
Some of these dogs, thought to be descended from Tibetan Mastiffs, were probably left behind and bred with native dogs. Modern speculation is that this latter happening was a reinforcement of the original heritage. There is also general agreement that various European dogs contributed to the genetic mix.
Another common belief is that the Newfoundland Dog, or its immediate ancestors, evolved on the island of Newfoundland in a semi-wild state.
Colonization of the island was restricted in the early years. Fishing admirals are said to have sent ships up and down the coast to burn down any homes with chimneys. This was done to force settlers to return to Europe for the winter, hence preventing permanent settlements and the governments that would follow.
Early writings claim that the big black dogs, left to their own devices for half the year, were not adept at catching food on land. In winter, this left only fish in the icy cold waters and the suggestion is that the dogs evolved into an underwater cold-water mammal like the polar bear. To this day, the Newfoundland is as different from other canine breeds as the polar bear is from other subspecies of bears.
In the 1700s, a large and powerful dog that worked extremely well on both land and sea was getting noticed. This dog was referred to by various names such as Bear Dog and Greater St. John’s Dog. It wasn’t until 1775 that the name “Newfoundland dog” first came into use.
At sea, the Newfoundland became the sailor’s darling. The dog had many uses, such as taking lines to shore, retrieving objects from the sea, carrying objects between ships, rescuing men who went overboard and helping to pull in fishing nets. They were equally useful on land doing draft work. They hauled the catch from the fishing boats and delivered fish and other merchandise door to door with their carts. Probably the most exotic of the door-to-door deliveries was the Royal Mail, which was transported in special wooden carts. Newfs in teams hauled the mail by sled between towns.
The Newfoundland Dog ran into trouble in its native land at the end of the 18th century. The best specimens were exported in great numbers to Europe, primarily to England, and the Government of Newfoundland restricted families from owning more than one dog, making any breed development on the island virtually impossible. Fortunately, the English carried out the breed’s ongoing development, especially in terms of the mastiff-type muzzle that makes modern Newfs look so different from their early ancestors, along with a longer neck, larger size and level bite.
Lord Byron summed up the wonderful respect the Newfoundland gained outside its native land with the famous epitaph for his beloved Newf, ‘Boatswain,’ who died in 1808: “... Beauty without Vanity, Strength without Insolence, Courage without Ferocity, and all the virtues of Man without his vices....”
Another Newfoundland Dog named ‘Boatswain’ was credited with altering human history. When Napoleon was escaping from his island exile in 1814, the non-swimmer emperor fell overboard, unnoticed in the dark except by the ship’s Newf who saved him, allowing him to go on to meet his Waterloo.
In the 1830s, Newfs performed a special type of rescue. After losing most of their St. Bernard breeding stock from disease and avalanches, the monks resurrected the famous giant Alpine-rescue dogs by crossing them with the giant water-rescue dogs. The rough or long coats found to this day on some Saints is a testimony to this event.
Although black was the Newfoundland’s original colour, the dogs arrived in England in a variety of colours, which were then almost eliminated. However, in 1837, the renowned painter Sir Edwin Landseer started painting white-and-black Newfoundlands and Queen Victoria acquired one such dog. The colour variation subsequently became the rage in England and the dogs became known as “Landseers.” This term is still in use in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom; however the rest of the world has, since 1960, recognized another breed descended from white-and-black Newfoundland Dogs and the new breed has co-opted the name.
The Newfoundland has never been more popular than it was in the Victorian era when they became the “in” dog, renowned as children’s companions and protectors. This breed characteristic was reflected in children’s books of the time, the most famous J.M. Barrie’s story Peter Pan, which featured a Newfoundland nanny named ‘Nana.’
By the early 20th century, people were enamoured of the gentle bear-like dog and this, coupled with the fact that news reporting was somewhat less than diligent, resulted in some tales that are now being debunked by researchers.
The story of ‘Rigel,’ the Newfoundland Dog who saved the occupants of one of the Titanic’s lifeboats, and the legend of a Newf saving all the crew and passengers of the SS Ethie off the coast of Newfoundland in 1919, are now thought to have been fabricated.
Strict food rationing during World War I nearly caused the breed’s extinction. In 1923, only 23 Newfs were registered in Britain; by 1928, the number had climbed to just 75. National Geographic had declared the breed extinct in America.
Fortunately, a few dedicated breeders from England, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the United States and Canada fought to save the breed. In Canada, we are indebted to the Hon. Harold Macpherson, who founded the famous Westerland Kennels in St. John’s, Nfld.
The first-ever dog stamp was issued by Newfoundland in 1887 – a rose-red half-cent stamp with the head of a Newfoundland Dog. In 1972, the Government of Newfoundland declared the Newf its official animal emblem.
The Newfoundland Today
Today, Newfoundlands are well established all over the world. While the majority live as loved family members, many still work. Both France and Italy employ the breed as lifeguards, some of them dramatically leaping out of helicopters. Earlier this year, a Newfoundland named ‘Bilbo’ became the first fully qualified canine lifeguard in England; he patrols a beach at Sennen Cove in Cornwall.
In Canada and the U.S., Newfoundland Dogs can qualify for the titles Water Rescue Dog and Water Rescue Dog Excellent, but their abilities as lifeguards have not yet been utilized by any government agency in North America.
On this continent, Newfoundland Dogs are regularly used in therapy, for search and rescue, avalanche rescue, locating cadavers and as mobility service dogs. In recent years, Newfs have been excelling in ‘crisis response,’ providing emotional support for victims and rescuers at major disasters such as Hurricane Katrina. Some families with autistic children have opted to have a Newfoundland rather than a trained service dog.
Newfoundlands are as active as ever as draft dogs, but pulling carts, wagons and sleds is mostly a recreational activity now. Besides qualifying for carting titles, you’ll find Newfs giving rides at winter fairs and participating in parades with their decorated carts and wagons. Some families hitch up their Newf to a cart for the evening walk so the younger or handicapped children get to ride.
Newfoundlands are renowned for their gentle temperament, especially with children; this is considered a hallmark of the breed. They are excellent draft dogs and when hauling records were kept by the Guinness Book of World Records, a Newf held the title for the greatest proportional weight hauled – 52 times its weight. They are the strongest canine swimmers and the only canine designed for underwater and cold-water swimming, even in the middle of winter.
Unique features include a bear-like roll when walking, a long oily outer coat, webbing between the toes when the fetal foot is formed, swimming with a modified breast stroke, a tail that acts as a rudder, and tolling for fish."
All 'Drew and I can say in response is that "we're not dogs, we're Newfies".
And what a name, huh? "Man-I-Ate" You gotta love that!
Oh, the picture? From the top left, Karazan Preston, Karazan Axl, Karazan H2 (Hummer), and the King of Kings, Karazan I Love Paris (Paris).
Monday, December 17, 2007
After reading the last blog entry, I've decided the best temporary way to deal with my woes is . . . the fine art of delusion.
And, accordingly, I've decided to recast my image of myself -- as it should be mind you.
I kind of like it. It's fitting, I dare say.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
The day started out reasonably enough, with our 45 minute walk.
Then came the horror.
He makes us sit at the caffe for about an hour (I'm used to this kind of abuse) and then we start driving in the direction of the kennels. This cannot be a good sign but Andrew has not a clue so I'm on my own once again.
The pictures then tell a thousand words: we're using our Saturday to get refurbished. There is no show, there is nothing, and still we must endure the torture. So much so that even Andrew will not look at the bleeding camera.
What are we supposed to do, smile? Phhhlease!!!!!!!!!
After hours of this refurbishing (and Mrs. P slicing away my hair -- I can't say diddly when she's around), we get tied up outside the kennels while he plays with the other Newfies. What's that about. We're right bleeding here!!!!!!!!!!! Bibed and gagged. "Intolerable Cruelty" indeed.
Then to add insult to insult to injury, we get motorized down to Moore's Landing, where I understand the food is very good but have no actual knowledge thereof. The suggestion is made that we get some, but he says it's too close to dinner. Yeah, it's so close to dinnner that I'd really like to grab that steak out of his mouth.
Finally, we are relegated to a nice long drive home, clean and hungry (I don't like either). Andrew manages to put up with it, why I just don't know.
And then he wonders why I won't eat my "dog food".
This abuse must end. Please, somebody adopt me (Andrew too, even though he doesn't know how bad things are). Call the SPCN -- the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Newfies.
I'll try to be patient.
Monday, December 10, 2007
FARMINGVILLE, N.Y. (CBS) ― "A Long Island dog-turned-MacGyver is making Lassie look like any other ordinary pooch. That's because Jackson, the massive 150-pound Newfoundland, somehow escaped harm during a house fire by jumping into a bathtub, pulling the curtain closed, and using the drain to breathe fresh air.
Jackson's owner, Debbie Credidio, nearly lost her best friend when her Farmingville home caught on fire while her 74-year-old mother, Marcia Kaye, was there.
'I said, 'The dog's in the house, but I couldn't get to where the dog was', Kaye told CBS 2.
The rest of the family was at work, but frantically rushed home to a chaotic scene. 'I came here, and the house was in flames full of smoke. I tried to get dog out, calling him -- I honestly didn't think the dog had a chance', said James Credidio.
Farmingville firefighters quickly arrived and made a final sweep through the house, and that's when they found Jackson in the bathtub.
'How he ever decided to go to where he went, it's amazing he did the right thing at the right time', said Fire Commissioner Norman Neill.
Firefighters were astounded to see that the dog somehow figured out that the drain would allow him to breathe.
'He's a big dog, about a 150-pound Newfoundland, and how he got in there and pulled the curtain closed -- it's the smartest thing. I don't know what kind of training he had', joked firefighter Jerry Curtin.
Whatever it was, Jackson's training was textbook -- right out of the firefighter's manual. A common mantra says to duck below the smoke if you run out of oxygen and find fresh air wherever you can. Jackson was literally inside the bathtub, sucking the air out of the drainpipe, an 'old school thing' that a firefighter would do.
'An hour later they pulled the dog out and it was like a miracle', James Credidio said.
The Credidios were more than thrilled to have their playful pal alive and well, even though the fire did its damage and the family had already just gone through tough times.
'If we would have lost him, it would have been like losing another piece of our family. We lost our dad last year, he was his best friend', said Jessica Credidio.
After losing her husband, Debbie Credidio says Jackson has just brought a little bit of happiness back into her life. 'He's a smart dog, he went in bathtub and sniffed the drain and made it out alive. I love my dog', she said.
Word is spreading around the Farmingville community about Jackson's intelligence. The entire neighborhood hopes to honor the heroic pooch with an award for 'valor under duress'."
Check out the video at wcbstv.com ("Miracle: Dog Uses Bath Drain To Breath Amid Fire")
Now the next time someone says that Newfies aren't smart, show 'em you know better.
Satchel & Andrew
Thursday, December 6, 2007
THE LEGEND OF THE NEWFOUNDLAND DOG
There is a land where the waves explode upon the reef in a boiling foam, there the legend was born.
As the story is told, God turned one day to contemplate all of his creations and saw on that Newfoundland Isle, flailed by storm a small nation of fishermen, whose rough, weather-beaten people fought courageously against the impervious elements of nature as the freezing cold winter and the unforgiving coastline took its toll, and the sea often asked the sacrifice of human life. Nevertheless, they remained deep-rooted, these men of Newfoundland with the stubbornness as great as their courage.
God saw, and in his infinite compassion, thought how he might alleviate their suffering. He searched among the creatures of his creations but found none that would serve. It was then he decided to create one anew.
He took the body of a bear, whose bone structure lent well to such arduous labours and whose thick fur would resist the bitter Newfoundland cold. Then he thought to sweeten this silhouette with the lithe, flexuous lines and movements of the seal, with all it’s prowess to swim and speedily slip between the waves.
Now turning to the sea, he saw the playful dolphins happily following the ships, their sweet, joy-filled eyes revealing their serene temperament, and more; they so love man that they often rescue them, saving them from the sea. Yes, they too would be part of this creature.
When he had done the moulding and casting, there suddenly appeared in his creative arms, a superb animal with glistening black fur; powerful and sweet in the same moment.
This new being, however, had to have an allegiance and faithfulness, tried and true, to be able to live beside man and be ever ready to offer his life for his master. It was at that moment that the Lord opened and placed in his chest, the heart of a dog, and the miracle was complete.
From that day onward, those men of the sea had beside them, their courageous companion ever strong, ever faithful the, Newfoundland Dog.
(Reprinted in translation from the book Il Cane Di Terra Nova by Emmy Bruno, editor Mursia-Milano)
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
"The Newfoundland is a dog with an outstanding temperament, good, courageous, generous, intelligent, human. Lord Byron wrote of one of this breed: "Beauty without vanity, courage without ferocity, strength without insolence, and all the virtues of a man without his vices." It is also a patient dog, mild with guests, and obsequious with its master. He is noble, calm, gentle, loyal and trustworthy with a sweet temperament. Dignified and peaceable. Very devoted. They can become so attached to their owners that they cannot adapt to a new home. Good and brave. Intelligent enough to act on his own when needed. Protective, but tends to place himself between the intruder and his family rather than bark or growl. Newfoundland's can recognize a dangerous situation and will generally act if the family is threatened. Any dog, other animal, child, or visitor who has no evil intention will receive a friendly welcome. Patient, playful, and loving with children; he is a born babysitter. Very sociable. Enjoys the outdoors, but also requires companionship. The Newfoundland drinks a lot of water and may be messy about it, as he loves to get wet. They tend to drool, though not as much as some other giant breeds. Although puppies require a lot of food, an adult Newfoundland eats only about as much as a retriever. They love to swim and if backpacking near water, don't let the Newfoundland carry your sleeping bag - or you may spend a very damp night!"
As Grandpa used to say, "all a child really needs are good parents and a Newfoundland."
Monday, December 3, 2007
Andrew and I (and all the Karazan clan) want to thank www.dogbreedinfo.com for bringing great information on Newfies and all breeds to the public.
We are particularly indebted to Sharon for her kindness and generosity.
Check out the site and the link to our pictures at http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/newfoundland.htm.
And also see some beautiful video of our buddy Gizmo at youtube.com. Just search for "gizmosav".
Satchie & Andrew