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News about the teams as well as some bits and pieces about life, love and dogs. Lots of dogs.

By mysticcharoite, Aug 21 2018 02:32PM

Those who surround themselves by creatures four legged (and, although I’ve never thought about it, I guess by feathered friends too) spend a lot of time considering poop. By considering, I mean forensically examining, fretting about, discussing and even occasionally posting about on Social Media.

The fact you’re even reading this makes me fairly certain you’re an animal person in some involved way. You’re probably also a bit too comfortable with talking about poop, sometimes a little too loudly and in the wrong setting. Remember, not everyone has animals.

While the eyes may be the window to the soul, poop is the window to the body; or at least to a lot of what is going on inside that body.

We’ve been promoting a campaign at work urging people to “Look Before You Flush” because the toilet bowl does tell tales on some serious diseases that could be quietly damaging your body with little indication otherwise. I spent some time when I was young staying with an elderly great aunt whose social circle was not shy about discussing their bowel movements but generally when most people talk about “behind closed doors” the bathroom door is very much one of them.

So most of us probably have a much more intimate knowledge of our dogs’ poop than what we flush away ourselves. Where our dogs are concerned, we tend to understand what is normal, what is “what on earth have you eaten?”, what is “better keep an eye on this” and what falls into the “get me the vet’s number now” category. Who needs the Bristol Poo Scale when you live with dogs, it is second nature. No reference needed.

We’ve all cleaned up a poomageddon from time to time that might even have involved dismantling a vehicle interior, forensically picked apart a poop to find out what the dog has eaten and been on poo watch when we know exactly what a dog has eaten (what he shouldn’t!).

And we’ve all experienced the sheer relief that poo can bring. Relief of the psychological variety, I mean, although often the dog is probably feeling better for the experience too. The relief when the dog produces his first near solid poo in days, when he produces the object he swallowed approximately 14 hours before or when he finally poos at all after mysteriously bottling it all up.

My colleagues think it absolutely hysterical when I have to take an hour off work to go home and check so-and-so’s poop. They can also probably hear the “Yessss!” back at base when I find the absorbent pad from the bottom of the meat packaging rolled and wrapped like a fine poo cigar (you can tell this has happened more than once) because with the best will in the world, dogs are bloody pirates when it comes to teaching you to be more careful about the disposal of stuff.

Anyway, keep checking the poop, keep sharing anything unusual and keep having that baseline understanding of what’s normal for the animals in your care. You never know, you might start taking more notice of your own because, well, s***t happens!

By mysticcharoite, Jun 19 2018 07:50PM

Now the Internet keeps telling me I shouldn't sleep next to my dog. Haha, and the Internet doesn't even have the first idea how many freaking dogs I sometimes sleep next to. But there's apparently science behind this which ranges from the hysterical (" From 1977 to 1998, there were 23 documented cases of human bubonic plague that could be attributed to the family cat!") to the more sensible (humans sleep better when they're not spooning a canine).

Some people seem to think if you allow your dog such a privilege s/he will reward you by eating you one day. I really doubt that, a lifetime of spoiling dogs rotten and I’ve not been eaten yet. Maybe this is because all of the dogs I’ve known and loved in my life are far too pragmatic to bite the hand that feeds them (aside from the odd occasion when they either mistake that hand for a chicken foot or for another dog who happens to have really, really pissed them off, ouch). After all, give a man a fishing rod and he can feed his family (and dog) for a year. Give a dog a human and he will have breakfast, dinner and hopefully plenty of treats for the rest of his life.

This is Wren. Wren isn't a fully fledged bed dog. More of an afternoon nap dog.

The Mayo Clinic study, referred to above, concluded…Humans with a single dog in their bedroom maintained good sleep efficiency; however, the dog's position on/off the bed made a difference. A dog's presence in the bedroom may not be disruptive to human sleep, as was previously suspected. I wonder if the same applies to partners? Does having another human sleeping on the floor not impede your sleep as much as the one attempting to starfish in the bed next to you?

I think it’s safe to say, if you allow anyone in your bedroom you’re going to – for better or worse – lose a bit of sleep now and again. We sleep a lot in our lives. It’s possible that by the time you reach 75, you’ll have spent 25 of those asleep. Surely you’re not going to miss the odd 40s here and there while your dog rearranges his balls or chases phantom rabbits?

It’s not even as if all dogs actually want to sleep on the bed with you. It’s kind of a privilege if they want to snuggle. Out of my mini horde, five couldn’t give a toss about my bed and if I ever invite them up they usually kick up a fuss at 1am demanding the cold floors of downstairs or choose to curl up in a crate. Some can take or leave it. The rest are dedicated bed dogs who sit and stare pointedly at the door to the world upstairs from 9pm onwards.

There is a 3 bed dog maximum rule in my house which is mostly broken. Not because dogs expect democracy and fairness but because I am weak. If someone hasn’t been well, looks upset, there’s an R in the month etc I can be swayed into letting a 4th or even 5th sneak up the stairs as I sigh and try to insert myself Tetris style into the abstract space between imaginatively arranged sleeping hounds.

Yes, I do sometimes wake up breathing through a nostril full of fluff, sometimes they fart (although they’d probably say the same about me) and they have the annoying habit of not having that irritable space between sleep and wakefulness like us and will joyously tell you it’s morning by jumping on your head or digging their claws in your underarm. It doesn’t even have to be actual morning either. If they are naughty or don't settle, they know they will get kicked out of the bedroom.

It’s also nice to sleep without the canine company sometimes.

However, if they want to then generally I let them up because to me, it's another way of strengthening our relationship. Dogs don’t care that you are asleep (or at least trying to), it’s a bit of extra time with their human that might get lost otherwise in daily life, work, social lives and the mundane stuff that distracts us from the fact our canine companions live precious short lives that we don’t share enough of sometimes.

By mysticcharoite, Jul 28 2017 01:35PM

Summer isn't really our favourite time of the year. For a start, it means mornings get earlier and earlier so we can get the dogs out for a run, even if it's only a very short one.

Keeping going through the warmer months has been really important this year as we've had Rogue's puppies to get started. Remember, we kept Robin, Wren, Kite, Harper, Cookie and Quinn. We also get to see Violet every weekend so it's been an amazing experience, watching these youngsters transform from fun pups into promising young sled dogs.

Some of the pups have also had a little go at the showing thing. Our lines make for extremely raw pups so they will only get a taste of it (mostly for something different for them to do) and they won't be out again until they are much more mature. Robin, Kite and Violet all had a turn in the ring and all three of them qualified for Crufts 2018 (although they probably won't go to such a big noisy place so young). These pups are terrible coat munchers so the other three look a bit moth eaten so will get their chance another time!

Their Uncle Spook also went to two shows this summer - Three Counties and East of England. He took the dog CC at both (bringing this clever boy up to five CCs), and went BOB at East of England.

By mysticcharoite, May 2 2017 03:41PM

The amazing Spook (Ch Charoite Raven's Brew) was named Siberian Husky Club of Great Britain Dual Champion 2016 this weekend.

This is an important accolade that aims to recognise and award the dogs winning in the show ring who were also those achieving results in the working environment, rather than the breed being split into two types as has so often been seen in many pedigree breeds of dog.

In other words by supporting and promoting a dog that is fit for purpose, ie., one Standard-fitting dog capable of being successfully shown and doing its job of work out on the trails, the Club was promoting its aims and helping the breed to retain its health, type and origins. And so for many this award is the most important of the Club’s accolades.

It's fantastic to see Spook's name join the illustrious list of winners in the award's 22 year history, including his great great great grandfather Ch Aceca's American Pie.

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