Category Archives: Dogs

Barton Parsley

Friday, 01-Aug-2014

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A wonderful weekend with my dogs

This weekend was spent with my dogs. This was a wonderful time either walking, playing fetch, rough housing or just lounging on the couch. I guess with my boys both grown I’m using these two dogs to fill in for them. Most of the time was spent with Sammie but Mattie got his share of laptime also. Sammie didn’t always agree with Mattie needing my time also. She told me so in this video.

Boxers can be extremely vocal when they have something to say.

Dog Tales

Sammie came into my life two years ago. My previous dog of fourteen years had been a Springer Spaniel. I had to put her down in the fall of 2001. Way too many things went wrong in that year. I swore I’d never get attached to another dog again, the pain was just too great.

By the end of 2003 I was spending a good bit of time on the road on business. Gerri talked me into letting her bring a dog into the house to keep her company while I was gone. In January of 2004 she adopted a little two year old Bichon Frisé from our neighbor’s grandmother who had become too old to take proper care of the dog. He won my heart pretty fast.

By late 2006 I was trying to do some hiking to pull myself into some semblance of shape and thought a little larger dog might be the thing to keep me company while hiking. After doing a good bit of research I settled on a Boxer as the breed I was looking for. I mentioned this to Gerri and by early 2007 she found a four year old female Boxer that a co-worker decided he didn’t have enough time to give proper attention. That’s how Sammie became my dog.

Sammie needed to be worked with. She would jump on visitors and generally make herself a pest to guest. She just wanted attention. I’ve been working with her over the past two years and even though she still shows excitement over guests to the house she is at least subdued enough in her enthusiasm that I don’t have to worry about her knocking anyone down.

I think the reason she was so unruly to begin with was from spending way too much of her first four years being boarded. I still travel some but now she has Gerri to take care of her while I’m goine. Before she had strangers. Still, she shows a good bit of anxiety when I am on trips and I think that has contributied to her occassional bouts with clingliness. She can be obbsessive about cuddling. This morning was one of those times.

I’m usually up at 5:30 most week day mornings, often at 5:00. On weekends I really would like to sleep until 7:00. This morning that didn’t happen. Sammie was barking and crying and sounding like her bladder might be full so I got up and took her and Mattie out to relieve themselves. When we came back in Mattie took off to curl up in the bed with Gerri while Sammie acted like she wanted to play. I put on the coffee and began playing with her.

When the coffee finished I was awake so I sat down at my computer and began reading the news. Sammie still wanted my attention. I helped her climb up in my lap and she went to sleep, there in my lap.She has a bed under my desk that she often lays in while I work. I tried to lay her down in that bed but she would have none of it. The only place she was happy was in my lap sleeping.

Now, female Boxers generally run around 55-65 lbs. Sammie is small and often mistaken for a juvenile; she weighs about 45 lbs. Still a 45 lb. dog is too big to be considered a lap dog even as expansive as my lap has become. She was not happy anywhere this morning but my lap from 5:45 until 7:00. Sometimes she just drives me crazy but I still love this dog to death.

Now, the reason I’m writing this is because my friend, Cat, and I were chatting online the other night about things our dogs do. We both agreed we could probably write a book about our dogs antics and we realized that we probably have written a good bit about our dogs online. Now I want your dog stories. How did you become introduced to your dog? Tell me about what your dog does that is amusing or drives you crazy.

And if you are a cat person, I want to hear those stories too.

Dog Park Follies

I took my dogs to the dog park this morning. Normally Sammie, the boxer, is the only dog I take but my wife was at a conference and I decided to take Mattie, the Bichon Frise, along with us. Mattie was really just wanting to be with me but Sammie loves playing at the dog park.

When we got there we went to the large dog area and I ended up holding Mattie while Sammie went to play with her buddies. There is a shepard/collie mix there that loves to run with Sammie and while I was throwing a stick for Sammie he was staying right with her. Sammie loves running with this dog.

A pit bull decided to get into the fun and they were all three having fun for a little while until the pit decided she needed to show a little dominance over Sammie. Sammie does not back down when this happens so there was a dog fight. Holding Mattie I wasn’t in the position to grab both dogs and sitting them down but I did manage to seperate them twice.

The third time I wasn’t so lucky. The pit managed to grab Sammie by the ear. By this time I had help from some of the other dog owners, including the owner of the pit. I was able to hand Mattie to one of them and between the pit owner, another guy and me we were able to at least hold them down so no ears were torn. However, it did take a good bit by all three of us to pry the pit bull’s jaws apart to let Sammie loose.

Sammie got up and moved away. The pit bull’s owners quickly put a leash on their dog and took her away. I’m really troubled by the way the pit bull’s owners handled this. I’m sure they thought they were doing the right thing by taking her away but they didn’t do anything to resolve this dog’s aggressive tendancies. By just taking the dog away they didn’t teach it that that behavior isn’t acceptable.

Sammie got a time out and was made to sit and stay for a while. Had Sammie rolled over at the show of aggression from the pit I think the fight could have been avoided. My dog doesn’t roll over, though. I’ve got to figure out how to address that or even if it is a problem that I need to address.

Immediately after I released Sammie from sit and stay she was back playing with her friend the shepard/collie mix and a couple of other buddies, a catahoula leapord hound and another pit bull. Her ear has a small cut on the top and a puncture wound on the bottom side where the ear attaches to the side of the head.


Sammie on the Loveseat I acquired Sammie about a year and a half ago. She’s about a five year old Boxer that I’m in love with. My wife has a Bichon Frise that I’m very fond of but Sammie is my dog and she sticks to me like glue.

There’s something about Boxers that have always attracted me to the breed. They are playful and energetic but they can also be comfortable just laying around. They demand that you be their master and they crave discipline. Give your Boxer a job to do and she will be happy dog.091807 089

Boxers are also clowns. They will play little games with you. It seems like they were breed to entertain. Actually they were breed for a much different job. These dogs were breed to be hunters and adapted to guard dog duty. The military used them for courier dogs.

Boxers, when well socialized, do well with other dogs. My Boxer isn’t aggressive toward other dogs at all except for when the other dog tries to exert dominance over her. At the dog park the only time I’ve had problems with her and other dogs is when another dog tries to dominate her. That happens rarely. She will run and run and run with the other dogs until they all give out.

091807 002 If you are looking for a dog and can keep the dog inside I’d highly recommend the Boxer. They need to be kept inside because they have a very thin coat. They will get cold in the winter and they will get hot in the summer. Boxertown is a website that features rescued Boxers in Georgia. Take a look at the Boxers needing your help there. Maybe you’ll find a constant companion there.

Gastric dilatation-volvulus

A friend of mine had two dogs, a female Doberman and a male Doberman/Great Dane mix. This past weeks, after fourteen years of companionship, she had to put her Doberman to sleep. A mix of old age and arthritis had just dropped her quality of life too low for my friend to bear any more.

The loss of the companion didn’t just affect my friend it also affected her other dog. She rushed the male to an emergency vet clinic with a case of canine bloat. Her dog’s stomach had dialated and rotated cutting off both entrance and exit to the stomach allowing gasses to build up with no place to go and cutting off blood supply to the stomach and spleen.

Her dog lost his spleen and it’s debatable that he will survive. There is a good bit of necropsy in the stomach. If this dog survives it will be a long road to recovery for him.

While my heart goes out to her and her dog I’m writing this in hopes that more people will become aware of what bloat, or gastric dilatation-volvulus, is and just how dangerous it is for a dog. Veterinarians aren’t sure exactly what causes it but appears to be brought on by stress. Heavy exercise on a full stomach also plays a factor in the onset of this malady.

Large and giant breeds with deep chests seem to be at greatest risk with Great Danes being most at risk. Symptoms to look for are excessive drooling, non-producting vomiting or wretching and a distended stomach. If your dog exhibits these symptoms get it to the vet immediately. This is not something that can be treated at home.

This incident with my friend has been heart wrenching for me. In relaying what happened to her dog to you I’m hoping that some good might come out of this. Even if my dogs never suffer from this exact ailment it has caused me to stop and think about the healthcare of my dog. I just added the local emergency animal hospital’s phone number and address to my cell phone address book. I also added the Pet Poison HELPLINE (800.213.6680) to my address book. The important thing is to at least know which symptoms mean to get your pet to the doctor immediately and know where to take your pet when such emergencies arise.

Update — My friends dog didn’t make it. C, I’m so sorry for your grief.