Sunday, December 29, 2013

The make believe Duck Dynasty controversy

Did we suddenly wake up to the fact that companies are amoral? The fact is they exist only to make money.  So for everyone who expected A&E to react with moral indignation should pull their head out of their ass.  Mr. Robertson's statements are protected by the same 1st amendment right that protects flag burners. That A&E suspended Mr. Robertson (for 9 days) while running a 'Duck Dynasty' marathon is the height of hypocrisy.  This proves -- beyond a reasonable doubt -- that companies are individuals & should have the equal political rights, right?  Yeah!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Mini me sun worshiper

Sigmund, aka Ziggy Stardust

It crept up on me in my 70th year

I'm getting upset by the end-of-year pieces about all the people who died in 2013. It didn't used to bother me. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

What people refer to as a challenge

That doesn't deter IBM, though. Apparently, its long-term goal is to essentially build an actual silicon version of the brain. As they put it, that means they need a chip system with ten billion neurons and hundred trillion synapses, which consumes one kilowatt of power and occupies less than two liters of volume. That's what people refer to as a challenge.

Here's the Gizmodo article:

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Rotten Teeth

Stella Bella, 13.5 yrs young

For those of you who have older Bouvs (or even younger ones, for that matter) please take care of their teeth. If you don't brush them daily -- even if they have bones -- tartar builds up, infections occur, etc.

I can relate to you that Stella Bella -- age 14.5 -- is having a rebirth of sorts. 

No, she has not lost her lifelong caution & insecurities BUT she is now running (arthritically), is somewhat more excited about treats & wants to be out & about more since 6 rotten teeth were pulled from her mouth. 

I held my breath when I decided to have this done and & I am VERY glad I did !! As we all know these guys are quite taciturn, can take a lot of pain w/o complaint & I feel so guilty about what was clearly a failure on my part to realize Stella's discomfort over what must have been a long period. 

It's just that it's so damned hard to read her as there is so little to read in her reactions in the first place but I definitely see a difference in her behavior now. 

Yes, it is an added cost. Yes, your Bouv does have to undergo some form of anesthetic. But if if you decide to do it, be sure to discuss a course of antibiotics with your vet before the procedures. 

I pass this on to you all as a cautionary 'tail'. (For more Bouvier tails click here.

Hugs to all your Bouvs.

Monday, April 01, 2013

Sabrina, My Easter Girl

Several years ago, on Easter Sunday, my lovely, deaf, Sabrina succumbed to cancer. I think of her often but on Easter Day, I like to imagine her spirit floating about, ignoring the ravaged body she left behind, playing with Truman, keeping an eye on us as she always did.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


Ziggy's Bed, Sophie has her own, Explain this to me. 

What is that?

Q: Cathy > what is the correct full name of the breed? Bouviers des Flandres or Bouvier des Flandres? I have seen it spelled both ways (and mangled in many others.) If I had only one Bouv, would I have a Bouviers des Flandres, a Bouvier des Flandres or a Bouvier de Flandres? 

A: Jim > conferred with my dad, the retired French prof, and I also decided to read some of the sites from Belgium in French to see how they refer to it.. What I was able to discern is this.. if they are referring to the breed in general, it is always Le Bouvier des Flandres which would be singular masculine. However, if they are talking about the dogs (note the s on dogs), then they are referred to as Les Bouviers or Les Bouviers des Flandres which would be 3rd person plural, or if it just one, le Bouvier. So, if you were referring to your two dogs, that would be "mes Bouviers"... now.. one more thing, Bouvier appears to be masculine all the time, so, for my bouv Mimsy, if someone asked me what kind of dog she was, the correct response would be "Ma chienne est un Bouvier des Flandres". I did also see one reference to a Bouvier de Flandre and that would be grammatically correct since Flandre is singular, but that one is very rare...

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Are you really thinking about a Bouvier des Flandres?

Q: My husband and I have only recently become aware of Bouviers des Flandres and have come to believe that this just might be the breed for our family. [...]

I have a few concerns I would like you (any of you) to comment on, if you would:

1. We have read about the fragrant nature of these dogs [...]

2. I've also noticed a few people talking about their Bouvs being aggressive toward the cats [...]

3. And, just from reading this list I'm beginning to wonder about those who write about having "yappy" Bouvs. [...]

A: I've been thinking about the questions you raised several days ago & I decided to respond to them. First of all, I think you've demonstrated great responsibility in researching different breeds of dogs before accepting one into your household. My hat's off to you. It can save heartache & worse for both your family & the dog.
However, I'd be interested to know why it is that you "have come to believe that this might just be the breed for [your] family"?  Most dogs I've ever lived with fart, bark & chase cats naturally.

What were the attributes of the Bouvier that attracted you, that made you lean towards this breed?

I find the three questions you asked pretty inconsequential in terms of the entire Bouvier experience.

Perhaps you already know a great deal from your own life, from reading Pam Green's article DON'T BUY A BOUVIER !! & talking to some Bouvier owners via email, but let me just run down a couple of things about the Bouvier which will occupy much more of your attention than the 3 items you've mentioned:

Bouviers *need* TRAINING -- you have to take them to obedience classes if you don't know how to do it yourself. And even then, you probably should go anyway. An untrained Bouvier is extraordinarily difficult to live with because they are strong willed, extremely intelligent, imaginative, will fill up a power vacuum in no time flat & run circles around you, your family, your furniture & cats before you know what hit you.

Bouviers *need* GROOMING. I know there are groomers but it's more fun to do it yourself. This process takes about an hour or two a week once you get their coat into shape. And you have to *train* them to accept grooming or it is a giant pain in the butt -- theirs & yours. During the winter or rainy seasons, wiping feet, de-icing beards & bodies will become part of your daily existence because most Bouvs just love to play in & around water, mud & snow.

Bouviers *need* to be with their families so having them around means that, like many an intelligent two or three year old child, they need attention, conversation, entertainment & *more* training. 

They go through the terrible twos but with them, it's the terrible ones. They constantly test, probe, challenge your authority, decide what's right for them to do & what's not worth doing. They cannot be beaten or scared into submission; they must learn to respect you as a strong but *fair* leader. And they will try your patience, make no mistake. If you perform admirably then they will follow you anywhere, unlike children.

Bouviers *need* EXERCISE. Now some breeders, like one kennel in the Philadelphia region states in their "brochure" that Bouviers don't need a lot of exercise & therefore make great apartment pets. Baloney. They *need* exercise just like you do. Bouviers can live in apartments; I lived with one in this way for many years but every day we went to the park to run, play & swim. His name was BOGART.

Many Bouviers, as you've probably read on the mailing lists, *have* HEALTH ISSUES. Pretty serious ones at that -- heart, eyes, thyroid, hips. Only a good breeder can help ameliorate these problems through very responsible breeding, but even then problems can & do occur. Animal medical insurance is really non-existent for all practical purposes so you have to be prepared -- but hopefully never have to -- reach deep into your pockets to take care of your canine child. Finding the *right* breeder is crucial. I cannot stress that enough. 

Bouviers are big, bulky, playful, aggressive, possessive, mischievous & sensitive animals. They are, in short, a handful. They need constant supervision, attention & care. They don't mature fully both emotionally & physically until the age of 4 or 5 so it will be a long haul.

So whether they fart every once in a while, yap every so often, or chase the cat is not the question. The question is are you & your family *committed* to the responsibilities of owning a Bouvier? I don't know the answer; you do.

If you are, the questions you raise will be taken care of  for the most part.

I might suggest that you also go to shows, meet Bouviers & their owners, RESEARCH THE BREED thoroughly, take your time & read a very fine BOUVIER BUYERS GUIDE

If *any* breeder tells you they are the best, most famous Bouvier breeder, turn around & *run* out.

BOUVIER BUYERS GUIDE contains extremely good information about buying or adopting a Bouvier. And if at the end of your research, you decide that you are going to commit to a Bouvier des Flandres, the people in the Bouvier community will be extremely supportive & helpful in answering more questions, making suggestions & guiding you over the rough spots that are sure to come.

Whatever you decide, the best of luck. Having a canine companion as part of your household just can't be beat. If it turns out that the Bouvier is, after all, not for you, there are other wonderful breeds or mutts that may be easier & just as much fun to live with.