July 22, 2011
It’s summer time, which (hopefully) means vacations and lazy days at the beach or in the hammock. Here’s DogWatch’s list of some dog-related summer reading to help you pass the time!
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April 29, 2011
While the world watched with baited breath as Great Britain’s Prince William said his vows to long-time love Catherine Middleton today, we here at DogWatch Hidden Fences find we’re a bit more intrigued by the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel than all the Royal Wedding hoopla. While today will certainly go down in royal history, we’d like to bring the focus to some dog breeds that have made royal history of their own! Introducing . . . the Royal Dogs!
The Saluki: Perhaps the oldest pure dog breed still in existence, the sleek and elegant Saluki has been discovered in carvings in Sumerian tombs dating as far back as 7000 B.C., and Egyptian tombs dating back to 2100 B.C. Thought to be named after the ancient town of Suluk, Libya, the Saluki was considered the royal dog of Egypt. So beloved by the Egyptian royals, they were frequently mummified along with their owners, and several depictions exist of King Tutankhamen with his favorite Salukis. The Saluki is thought to have been brought to Europe during the Crusades in the 12th Century, and arrived in England in the mid-1800s, and America in the early 1900s.
The Lhasa Apso: One of the most ancient dog breeds, the lion-like, black-lipped Lhasa Apso is thought to have existed as far back as 800 B.C. Lhasas originated in the sacred city of Lhasa in the Himalayan Mountains of Tibet, and were bred by holy men called Lamas. Referred to in Tibet as “Apso Seng Kyi,” or “Bearded Lion Dog,” the Lhasa was primarily used as a watchdog in temples and monasteries, as well as in religious ceremonies. It was believed that the souls of deceased Lamas could enter the bodies of Lhasa Apsos, where they remained as they awaited reincarnation. A highly-prized dog, Lhasas could neither be bought nor sold; they could only be given as a gift. Lhasa Apsos made their way to Great Britain and the United States in the early 1900s.
The Pekingese: The royal dog of China, these little dogs with a lion’s mane took their name from the ancient city of Peking (now Beijing) over 2,000 years ago. In ancient China, Pekingese were considered sacred and believed to drive away evil spirits. Bred and guarded in the Imperial Palace, so prized were these little “lion dogs” that only royalty was permitted to own them, and the theft of a Pekingese was punishable by death! In 1860, the British overtook the Imperial Palace of China; during the seizure, five Pekingese were captured and brought back to Great Britain. They were given to British royalty, including Queen Victoria, as spoils of war, and were then interbred, thus beginning the British line of Pekingese. In the early 1900s, the Chinese Dowager Empress Cixi began gifting the dogs to influential Americans, beginning the line of the modern American Pekingese.
The Pug: An old breed of Chinese descent, dating as far back as 400 B.C., the snub-nosed, smush-faced Pug is believed to be a relative of the Pekingese. Imported to Holland by the Dutch East India Company in the 16th century, the Pug rose to Dutch popularity under William, Prince of Orange, after one saved his life in 1572 by sounding the alarm that the Spanish were approaching, thus allowing him time to successfully flee their assassination attempt. So the intrepid little Pug became the official dog of the House of Orange, and one hundred years later, when William II ascended the throne in England, he brought his beloved Pugs with him, establishing their following in Great Britain. This following grew to include the likes of the ill-fated Queen Marie-Antoinette, as well as another less-than-fortunate Parisian, the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte.
January 21, 2011
We’re approaching the end of January. How are your New Year’s resolutions going? Need an extra boost to keep it up during the rest of 2011? Why not include your dog in the action?
The DogWatch Hidden Fences team thinks that dogs make everything more fun – and we’ve come up with some ideas to energize your resolutions with the help of man’s (and woman’s) best friend!
Exercise With A Smile
Starting an exercise routine is a perennially popular resolution. Dog owners who take on this task can not only improve their own health but also the health of their pet. Bring your dog along on your walks and runs. Your dog will get some much needed extra exercise, and their happy faces will encourage you to fight through those tough hills and that painful last mile.
If you prefer to exercise indoors, incorporate some fetching games into your warms up and cool downs. It will help you start and end your workout on a happy note. Furthermore, by including your dog in your routine, it will give you one more reason to stick with it. You don’t want to disappoint Max or Bella, right?
Flex Your Mind Muscles
If you’re anything like us, you love curling up on the couch next to your sleeping pup. While we all love these precious moments of relaxation, sometimes we also crave some fun activities that challenge us to think in new ways. These activities range from reading that new novel your co-worker raved about, mastering the New York Times crossword puzzle, or building that bookshelf that is still in pieces in the basement.
How do you find the time for these tasks? Get the whole family involved, including the family pet. Establish “puzzle hour” or “reading night,” and ask that everyone disconnect from their phones and computers and TVs during this brief period of relaxing “brain time.” As for the dog, give her her own learning activity. Stuff a KONG toy with her favorite snack, or place treats inside a “puzzle” toy (read about some examples here). She’ll be occupied and energized – just like the rest of the family.
January 3, 2011
As we begin an New Year (and a new decade!), it seems like a good time to review some of the 2010 highlights. We saw economic struggles, a Winter Olympics, the oil spill in the Gulf, the health care debate, the continued rise of Facebook, and many more unforgettable events. And since there aren’t enough lists at this time of year (just kidding!), we have compiled our own. In the first DogTails post of 2011, DogWatch Hidden Fences gives you our first annual “Dog News Review,” featuring the most memorable dog stories of the past year.
One of our favorite dog photos of the year first premiered way back in January. That’s when Maureen Ravelo snapped a photo of her Bichon Frise-poodle enjoying a special treat on his birthday. The resulting photo (shown at left) captured an unbelievably expressive and contented smile on the one year-old dog’s face. The image quickly became a sensation after a friend posted it on the sharing site Reddit.com. For more info on the story, and to see Riley in action, click on the photo to watch a video of the famous dog and his owner on NBC’s “Today” show.
One of our favorite parts of Super Bowl XLIV did not actually take place in Miami. While we applaud the New Orleans Saints’ victory, we confess that we didn’t watch all of the pre-game coverage. Instead, we switched over to Animal Planet from 3-5PM, when it aired its sixth annual “Puppy Bowl.” The event, which is even cuter than it sounds, features lots of adorable puppy playing, aerial coverage of the “field”, rabbit cheerleaders and a kitty halftime show. We can’t wait for Puppy Bowl VII – oh, and Super Bowl XLV, too.
It was the chomp seen ’round the world. Winston, a Pit Bull-Boxer mix, got loose from his yard and attacked a police car, eventually chewing off the entire front bumper. And it was all caught on tape! The amazing video made headlines around the world, and sent Winston to the shelter for a few weeks before being released to his family. The trainers supported his owners’ claim that Winston is a “sweet dog,” but a judge did order obedience training for the powerful pup. Winston’s owner promises that Winston will be “a model citizen” from now on – but just in case, he will add some extra protection in his yard in case a police car drives by again.