Opinions

Shadow RIP

Shadow was infamous, he bit the dog whisperer on national TV, not that Milan did not ask for it mind you, he tried to strangle him with a leash.

However despite that he was the gentlest of dogs around me and my pack. He had the softest tongue when he licked me after scratching his ears, and he took treats so carefully from anyone who offered him something he liked. He loved cheese of any sort and when I took some cheese out of the fridge, he would be there expecting a little bit, which of course he got, and he took it so gently. I think string cheese was his favorite although he liked a good piece of cheddar.

His goal to pee on every tree and bush in the world has sadly ended, as he passed away on 27th January 2018. He had been battling various cancers for the prior 4 years, and was doing quite well, never showing any signs of discomfort. We had just returned from our normal afternoon short walk, and Nikko was playing with him. He let out a yelp and fell over and died almost immediately. I suspect one of the cancers finally got him, or his big heart finally gave out. He has left a gaping hole in my heart, as he was my heart dog, we had a very close bond, and we both suffered separation anxiety when away from each other.

He led the pack on all our walks, and was the instigator when it was time to walk, never letting me get away with skipping one.

Even though I knew he was on borrowed time it was still a shock and I was not prepared to lose him, let alone so suddenly. I am grieving and it hurts. Walks are not the same without him, and I miss seeing his head cradled in my lap and his brown eyes staring into mine when he wanted his dinner.

He instantly bonded with Vushki when I got him, and they were best buddies for the rest of his life. He was so tolerant of Nikko, who played with him and would drag him around by the scruff daily, he never once snapped at him even when it was clear he didn’t feel like playing. (none of the other dogs are that tolerant with Nikko). He was not so kind to other dogs he was not familiar with though, and out right aggressive towards unfixed male dogs. He was very good with his extended pack of dogs he knew and walked regularly with. Female dogs loved him instantly as he was a very handsome fellow.

He liked to sleep in the bathtub when we lived in California, but I usually woke up with him curled up next to my head (with his butt in my face). In the UK the last few months he started to sleep in the corner of the bathroom next to the shower (no bathtub for him to sleep in), but he very rarely got on the bed, probably because Nikko was in the way. He was very careful to never step on (or over) any of the dogs even if they were lying in the way and blocking a doorway, he would instead whine and hit the door with his paws to try to get them to move. He very rarely slept on any of the many dog beds I have scattered around (at least until the last few weeks when he started to sleep on the new one in the bed room for part of the night). He was the only one that could get up the stairs in my new house (I sleep downstairs in the downstairs bedroom because of that). It was a bit of a struggle for him in the last few months, but as the bath is upstairs he would struggle up the stairs while I was taking a bath and settle down next to the bath until I was done. He also started to lie very close to me in the office while I was watching TV or on the computer, I think he knew his time was running out.

His DNA tests said he was Alaskan Malamute, Chinese Shar-Pei, German Shepherd (White Swiss Shepherd), German Shepherd Dog Mix (I doubt the Shar-Pei bit). He was not a large Malamute though, usually weighting around 75-80 lbs for most of his life.

I will miss him terribly, and will try to remember to walk the dogs every day without his reminders.

Run free my love.

Love Dad.

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Posted by wolfmanjm on Jan 28, 2018

Vixen RIP

Vixen

Vixen was my alpha girl. She was so alpha she didn’t just lift her leg to pee, she lifted both back legs at the same time to pee.

She was a confident and happy girl. She passed on 9/7/2013 after about 4 days of steadily declining health. It was pretty sudden. She had developed Cushings disease a year earlier, and had lost all the fur in her tail and had a few bald spots on her back and around her neck, but she was still beautiful. Then one afternoon she got into the food store and gorged herself on the kibble, she went down hill from there.

She appeared to have developed Diabetes and couldn’t walk very well and seemed to be in great pain. The vets were unable to explain why, and her blood work was all over the place. Finally I took her back the emergency vet and they did an ultra sound and found she had fluid in her lungs and several masses on her spleen and liver. He suggested that maybe these masses were the actual reason for the Cushings and all the other complications, even though they did not show up on the ultra sound a year earlier. The gorging probably just accelerated the problems and her system could not cope with it.

The E vet was pretty certain they would not be able to stabilize her given the Cushings and diabetes complications. She was in obvious distress, and I helped her pass over the rainbow bridge with her head in my lap scratching the top of her head as she used to love.

I am devastated, she was only 10 years old, and it happened all so suddenly.

I love you my little Vixie and will miss you terribly.

Love Dad.

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Posted by wolfmanjm on Sep 08, 2013

In Loving Memory of Mishka

Mishka was one of a kind dog. I never met a dog like him. He was happy and boisterous. He loved to goose people and would find the responses very amusing, and prance around afterwards. He had his own mind and did pretty much whatever he wanted. Taken from us way too soon a spark of happiness and a ray of sunshine has left us.

mishka

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Posted by wolfmanjm on Jan 21, 2009

San Jose - The most dog UN-Friendly City?

Correct me if I’m wrong ;)

It seems to me that San Jose has become one of the most dog un-friendly cities. I was watching a program called Dog Friendly Cities, and it seems that many large Cities (San Francisco, Miami, New York etc) are very dog friendly.

On the other hand San Jose is terrible by comparison.

For a start there are very few dog parks, and the ones that there are are very small, and are unlit, and close too early. In fact District 6 has NO dog parks at all! Everytime they try to open one someone complains.

The recent change in the Title 7 Animal control laws are prohibitive, dog unfriendly, and probably unconstitutional.

All San Jose Street fairs ban dogs, even though, last time I looked, dogs are allowed on City streets when on a leash.

You can get your dog seized by Animal Control if it pee’s on someones lawn and they complain, I hate to think what would happen if the dog were to poop on someones lawn! (Regardless of whether you pick up or not).

Most City parks ban dogs, even on leash. All school fields ban dogs, even though our tax dollars pay for those fields.

All establishments (except a few pet stores) ban dogs, and I have never seen tie outs or loops outside where you can tie your dog up if you want to go inside (to get coffee etc).

So I vote San Jose as THE MOST DOG UN-FRIENDLY CITY.

Thanks San Jose, I’ll be thinking about that next time you want to hike my taxes or have me vote for you.

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Posted by wolfmanjm on Jan 26, 2008

Grant RIP

Grant had been diagnosed with liver cancer. He had one tumor removed but the other was inoperable. He was on various medications which were designed to prolong his quality of life for a while.He did very well for a few months, and had a good few months.

Grant passed away Monday morning at 2am 1/21/2008. He was OK in the morning but sometime in the late afternoon something was bothering him. He seemed disoriented and was uncomfortable. I took him to the emergency vet at around 1am, they said he was going into shock, but couldn’t say why but it could be due to the cancer. I made one of the hardest decisions any owner has to make for their pet, and had them put him to sleep while he was in my arms. I couldn’t bear to see him suffer any longer, and it was pretty clear he was not going to make it through the night.

RIP my dear friend, I’ll love you forever.

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Posted by wolfmanjm on Jan 22, 2008

My Foster Dogs

Here are the dogs I have fostered and are now in their own homes with new families.

Jaeger and Moose - my first foster dogs, both Siberian Huskies and they were brothers. Really sweet and affectionate.

Jaeger and Moose

Tundra - Another good boy, a Woolly Malamute.

Tundra

Misty - A Siberian mix and a really sweet girl.

Misty

Taz - A red and white Siberian, a real character. Ended up back at the shelter and never picked up we placed him again, but was found with someone other than the person we adopted out to, and taken away from them for abuse. We placed him yet again and the new parents seem very happy with him.

Taz

Tonka - A Mal mix, great dog played well with all dogs, a little mouthy with people but very affectionate.
Ended up being returned to a shelter by his adopting parents, I thought he had been euthanized and was very upset about that, but it turned out someone adopted him from the shelter, (not sure why they told us otherwise), and so far he is doing very well with his new family.

Tonka

Kodi- A 5 month old Malamute puppy, he was HUGE for his age. Really sweet puppy. Saw him recently he is a huge boy, still a sweet puppy. His new parents are very happy with him

Kodi

Summit - A 1 year old Husky/something mix, really a huggable and kissey dog, loved to sleep on top of you all night! and cuddle up to you.

Summit

Kiva/Chloe - A 3 year old Siberian, very sweet and affectionate, needed to learn how to play and just be loved. Kiva

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Posted by wolfmanjm on Aug 18, 2007

Rescue and Fostering

Recently I started helping a couple of rescue groups in my area BASH and MUSH.

I foster Huskies and Malamutes.

I have to say this is incredibly rewarding, even though it is really hard to let the fosters go, and can be quite stressful figuring out if the potential adopter is right for the dog.

So far I have fostered 6 dogs, and all have been adopted out.

I think it helps that I already have 4 dogs of my own and know I simply can’t cope with more on a long term basis. So keeping them is out of the question.

If you can do this I highly recommend it.

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Posted by wolfmanjm on Aug 02, 2007

Snow Dogs R Us

This site was a social networking site for Snow Dog owners and friends of Snow Dogs.

It was a user contributed site where you could show pictures of your dogs, recommend places that are dog friendly, and organize events for your Snow Dogs.

Preserved for posterity here snowdogsr.us

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Posted by wolfmanjm on Jun 21, 2007

Dog Parks

I love off-leash dog parks, with the number of dogs I have I guess that is obvious. They get a lot more exercise at the dog park than if I walk them, plus they seem to enjoy it a lot more.

Unfortunately in my area (South Bay), dogs are a low priority, there are only about 6 or 7 dog parks in the entire South Bay, and many of those are not really worth visiting, they are either poorly maintained, or tiny.

The City Park planners have tried to get approval to build more dog parks locally, but all the plans have been nixed one way or another, Usually people who live close by complain for one reason or another. I think this is really selfish of them.

If a totally unused or under utilized park has been ear marked for a dog park out they come, trying to save the park! A small minority of people, even though they don’t live near enough to the park to be affected by the noise or the parking, they find some idiotic excuse to nix the project. Like recently some local chap decides he doesn’t want a dog park any where near him, so he comes up with a lame excuse – it is a danger to the kids going to the local school. What a joke, this is a totally enclosed dog park, less dangerous than what happens now, when people let their dogs off leash when it isn’t enclosed. The problem is the local park commission bought the argument and indefinitely postponed the decision to build the dog park.

They built a Kid park right behind my house, they didn’t ask me, it affects me directly because of the noise, my tax dollars go to building it, but when we want something my tax dollars can be spent on that I can actually use, oh no! I pay for this guys kids to go to school! I pay for his kids sports facilities, but he gets to decide that I cannot have a place to let my dogs legally run around off leash in (me and a few hundred other dog lovers!). Whatever happened to democracy and majority rules? I don’t have kids, yet I have to pay for other peoples kids facilities, my dogs are my kids so what about them?

I know many people will be offended by me comparing my dogs to their kids, but then my dogs are smarter than their Honor Student

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Posted by wolfmanjm on Sep 22, 2006