“Scratch a dog and you’ll find a permanent job.”
Franklin P. Jones
We survived another Thanksgiving dinner. All the turkey was divided up amongst family and friends along with all the side dishes, including the pumpkin pies.
Our Black Friday is never spent shopping. Mostly because we have spent the last two weeks shopping and cooking and all we want to do is relax and enjoy the peace and quiet.
Friday evening we spent watching the National Dog show on NBC. As dog lovers, we enjoy watching televised dog shows. If you missed the show, there was quite a lineup of contenders.
The top dog to win the National Dog show title this year was Charlie the Skye terrier. The four-and-a-half-year-old pooch from Ocala, Florida, beat out 1,700 other dogs.
The moment he entered the ring, I turned to my husband and said, ‘Wow…! “What a beautiful dog. He’s definitely heads and tails’ above the competition. Now that’s what I call the best of show.”
“I’ve always said money may buy you a fine dog,
but only love can make it wag its tail.”
Every year hundreds of canines and their human companions travel to Indianapolis, Indiana to compete in the North American Flyball Championship.
What is flyball you ask? It’s the canine equivalent to the horse steeplechase event. The North American Flyball Association, Inc. (NAFA) was established in 1984, when 12 flyball clubs in Michigan and Ontario banded together to guide the development of flyball in North America.
Flyball got its start in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when a group of dog trainers in Southern California created scent discrimination hurdle racing, then put a guy at the end to throw tennis balls to the dogs when they finished the jump line. It didn’t take long for the group to decide to build some sort of tennis ball-launching apparatus, and the first flyball box was born.
Herbert Wagner is credited with developing the first flyball box, and apparently he did a flyball demo on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson that got a lot of people’s attention. Subsequently, the new dog sport for dog enthusiasts was introduced in the Toronto-Detroit area by several dog training clubs. After a few small tournaments were held in conjunction with dog shows, the first ever flyball tournament was held in 1983.
Today, there are over 400 active clubs and 6,500 competing dogs, NAFA, a nonprofit organization is recognized as the world’s leading authority on flyball and the sport’s top sanctioning organization.
If you want to see the dogs in action, here’s a short documentary about the sport and the ruff competition.
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress
can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
Animals unlike man, kill not from hatred or pleasure, but for their survival. Man has always believed that there are certain animals that are enemies by nature.
However, when I saw this photo of a one year old cheetah with her canine friend, it touched my heart. How did these two unlikely animals become inseparable?
Their story began last year when eight cheetah cubs were born in captivity at the Leo Zoological Conservation Center in Greenwich, Connecticut. Unfortunately, three of the cubs were cast out by their mother because she was unable to nurse eight cubs. Two of the male cubs bonded which left the female all alone. It was up to the staff at the center to nurse the outcast cub back to health.
It was important for the survival of the female cub to bond with another cub or animal. So, the center searched for an animal. When they introduced Adaeze the cheetah cub to Odie, a 7-year-old dog, the two animals bonded instantly.
Whatever the reason for this bonding of two enemies of the animal kingdom, it just goes to show us humans that even our enemies can become our allies. All it takes is for us to learn to have a mutual respect for one another.
“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent.
To sit with a dog by the beach on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden,
where doing nothing was not boring–it was peace.”