Control of unfenced dogs
I HAVE a possible answer for Rex, who is being threatened by a dog as he delivers the courier mail:
Although you feel threatened by this dog, remember the dog also feels threatened by you. He sees you as an intruder into his territory (and because there is no fence, his claimed territory may extend down the road somewhat) and is perhaps feeling insecure by your threatening presence, especially if you run on the job. This is a negative, frightening experience for both you and the dog. You must turn this around so the dog can see you as a positive, rewarding experience.
Take with you a pocket full of high quality treats such as some dry sausage, cheese, soft biscuits or dried liver and cut into small pieces. When you arrive at the house where the dog is threatening you walk, don't run. Take a piece of bait out and throw it to the dog. Then get another piece and take it to a particular spot on the dog's property and give him another piece at that spot. Each time you visit that house make sure you lure the dog to that same spot on his property by treating him there with the bait, when you finish the delivery to that house give him another piece on that same spot as you leave.
After a few visits you may find the dog will start to see you as a friendly visitor and will immediately run to the spot he knows the treat is coming to, and wait for you. In the dog's presence make sure you never lift your arms high. Take off any hat or sunglasses you may be wearing and walk in a submissive way, not lifting head high, and do not stare at the dog for long periods. Give it a try. - Nicole (Cert. canine psychology)
Cancer sniffing dogs
OUR friend, who had never had a PSA test, was told by my husband that he should have one. He had the test and was told he had prostate cancer and had it removed. However, after his surgery his PSA doubled, then tripled and all the doctors don't know why. He is currently undergoing hormone and radiatation therapy but no one knows where the cancer is. His whole life has become going to one doctor or going to another test with no end result.
He believes in dogs sniffing out cancer and so do we. Are any cancer sniffing dogs available in the United States? If so, where? This is one great guy and we feel because we suggested he get a PSA test we should also help him to beat a cancer that no doctor or test can locate for him. Please reply, we are grasping for any hope. - J.Diamond
I have suggested that the University at Berkeley canine studies section may be able to help or pass on some information, however, I will pass this out to readers in the hope that someone out there may have more specific information to share. - Ed
THE article on racing dogs was very interesting. I have had show and racing huskies for over 30 years. We just had our last dog put to sleep at age 15. This was the most traumatic thing I've ever done but it was my last gift to her. She was my friend and pal, and I'll miss her very much. I would urge everyone to read your article about older dogs to help understand age-related problems that may occur. - Maxene
China and SARS
I WRITE to you regarding extremely disturbing news that government officials are now killing dogs in Nanjing as a measure of stopping the spread of SARS virus. The news that the Beijing government has been killing pets has already reached many people. It is bad enough that they kill dogs and cats and hide behind the excuse that they are stopping the spread of the illness, but their method of killing is extremely cruel as well.
These officials are transferring blame to innocent dogs for the spread of SARS when it was in fact of their own making. The world is watching China with astonishment and horror for the measures it has been taking to stop the spread of the illness, including taking people's beloved pets away from SARS patients' homes and killing them, without any consideration for the feelings of these people. In addition, they are killing street dogs without compassion.
If anything is responsible for the SARS virus it is China's total lack of respect for animal welfare. China has allowed people to consume its treasured wild life along with dogs and cats - animals that are very dear to many people's hearts.
They have allowed animal markets to operate where the cruelty to animals is beyond belief. When people and animals are put into extremely stressful situations, their immune system is under attack and therefore in danger of developing a virus. These markets put many different species of animals in close proximity, subjecting them to extreme fear and anguish. China's total lack of compassion for the animals is alone responsible for SARS outbreak. It is time for China to discard some of its false and outdated beliefs regarding health benefits, rather than punish people who have affection for their animals as officials are doing now. These people and their loved pet animals are the only true ambassadors for China.
The right course of action which China should take now is to close down all the dog breeding facilities for its disgraceful dog meat trade, educate its people about health, stop dog, cat and wildlife meat trading and close down all the cruel animal markets. I urge officials to stop the senseless slaughter of these beautiful animals immediately. It is people, not the dogs, who have brought SARS into existence and are spreading the virus. - Yoon, Sheffield
Yes, you are right about that - there was a report on TV news in NZ some weeks ago saying that the cause of the SARS spread had been discovered, and that it was an illness common in the civet ... a wild animal also eaten and sold in the markets. Apparently cooking usually kills the virus, but it can spread to people through unwashed hands that have been handling that animal. Thus if someone had killed civets for food and sold them, and at the same time was killing dogs for the same purpose, the person buying the dog could catch SARS ... but only because the dog had been handled by someone who first handled a sick civet - dogs are not susceptible to that particular disease. There is only one way to stop such illnesses spreading and that is for the Chinese government to close down those filthy, degrading and bacteria-ridden meat markets that are illegal, but to which the Chinese government at present turns a very blind eye. - Ed