Saturday, May 17, 2008

Followup on Pip

As noted in the original post, (August 17, 2008), Pip was a "rescue" dog, with no papers and with no information on his heritage. As Barbara was leaving the vets in Tuscon the final time, she told me on the phone "I'm going to find out exactly what this damn dog was!"

For a small(?) sum you can get a DNA analysis of any dog, to find out more or less what's in his/her background, and Barbara sent a specimen off. We finally received the results: He was very nearly 50/50 Border Collie and Australian Shepard. Nothing else was in there in sufficient quantities to detect. This explains a lot. His characteristics (high intelligence, loyalty, communication skills, etc) are pretty much those that stand out in both of those breeds.

Something did, and still, puzzles us. Pip was unusually large for either a Border or an Australian shepard. A vet once told us that the Borders in the northern England/Scotland counties can be quite large, better enabling them to fend off predators from the flocks. Maybe one of his "largeness" genes got turned on.

Should we ever have another dog (and it would be quite a while if we made that commitment), we would look for this mix again. . . it worked absolutely perfectly at least once.

Monday, May 5, 2008


Barbara has seen these kits' mother trotting across our back yard. (This picture was taken by our neighbor, Lew Fench). We have also seen foxes in Rocky Mtn NP, Colorado, Kodiak, AK, and in Talketna, AK.

Barbara and I have also seen Mountain lions up close (from the saftey of our car) in Iowa (really) and in Colorado, Bob Cats in AZ, Moose in CO, and endless wild turkeys, elk, etc, etc.

In this day of urban existence, it is good to experience nature as often as possible. The creatures that co-habitate this earth with us are an intimate contact we have with the wonders of the cosmos. The widely known (and both reviled and honored) Princeton Ethics writer, Peter Singer, has taught us to respect and treat well these sentient creatures, and allow them to help us know ourselves. Much better than hunting for sport in my opinion.