February 17, 2008

Doggie Truths

The phrase “A dog is man’s best friend” is certainly true... here are a few other not so famous sayings... but none-the-less interesting

  • The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue. -Anonymous
  • Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful. -Ann Landers
  • If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went. -Will Rogers
  • There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face. -Ben Williams
  • A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself. -Josh Billings
  • The average dog is a nicer person than the average person. -Andy Rooney
  • We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It’s the best deal man has ever made. -M. Acklam
  • I wonder if other dogs think poodles are members of a weird religious cult. -Rita Rudner
  • A dog teaches a boy fidelity, perseverance, and to turn around three times before lying down. -Robert Benchley
  • Anybody who doesn’t know what soap tastes like never washed a dog. -Franklin P. Jones
  • If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons. -James Thurber
  • You can say any foolish thing to a dog, and the dog will give you a look that says, ‘Wow, you’re right! I never would’ve thought of that!’ - Dave Barry
  • Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. -Roger Caras
  • If you think dogs can’t count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then give him only two of them. -Phil Pastoret
  • My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am.

February 4, 2008

Dead End

I remember my dad telling me years ago - "What you read in a paper defines who you are..."

I asked him how and he said "When you wake up every morning and turn to the sports page... you are young; when you have time to read just the headlines... you are working hard; when you turn to the stock market pages... you are doing well; when you turn to the crossword section... you are retired; when you turn to the 0bituary... and see your friends there... you are old"

A couple of hours ago I felt really old... my cousin's husband passed away - he was just a few years older to me! This is probably the first death in our generation ... among first cousins!

I still remember the wedding (happened while I was still in college) Sirisha (my first cousin) and Madhav Prasad got married in the middle of a turbulent, curfew clamped week in Hyderabad.

Most of us did not know what to call him - Madhav or Prasad, or Bawa (Brother in law in telugu) or Jijaji/Jiju (in hindi) or whatever -
we just called him Clint Eastwood - he looked so handsome (hero-ish, hunky and what not) those days... and he was looking for a career in the movies anyway.

Not been too much in touch with the over the last 15 years but still all that came back to me today were these few thoughts.

May his soul rest in peace. And I hope Sirisha has the strength to take this.

February 3, 2008

Piss Off - not a pretty greeting!

Lots of my friends come home and wonder why my dog (Yoda) is so interested in their genitals...

... in fact "Your dog is horny!" .... "he is going to bite me...." are regular comments.

But for all you visitors... let e tell you one thing... Yoda is actually doing you a favor... he is 'pre screening' you health and well being.

Remember the last time the doctor asked you to get a Urine test done so that he can clear up the presence of any bacteria or whatever you were 'deceased' with.... Dogs can actually smell disease... Diabetes to EColi infection and some can even smell Prostrate and Bladder cancer.

In simple dog language the sniffing of the genitals
means please reveal you true nature...more like "I want to see you naked" ... no secrets from me. Quite naturally, dogs don't have a problem with nudity or dress code, so this is not in any way offending... the care, protection and fascination with the genitals is a very 'cultured human' approach to life!

There are studies that will soon confirm that dogs can sniff out genetic code... I have seen that Yoda is pretty comfortable with people (new visitors) who share some kind of genetic code with either me or Prabha... he takes one sniff and knows that they are 'family'... amazing... all those research scholar wasting your time in laboratories trying to map the human genome... waste time no more.

I see so many of my friends trying to teach their dogs how to shake hands.... etc. etc.... have we even tried to understand their way of greeting????

Ideally when you meet a dog the next time you should sniff his butt... and he would be happy to show it to you.... not a pretty picture... but then let us remember that we are humans and they are dogs... lets keep our dignity.

According to
Mogens Eliasen, the famous dog trainer, a typical greeting ritual for dogs contains the following elements:
  • Eye contact - means acknowledging each other's presence. It means very much the same as for humans. Not making eye contact is ignorant - and too much eye contact is rude or provocative. The difference between people and dogs is that the time standard is shorter for dogs. A staring for, say 1 second, might be OK and non-provocative for a human, but for a dog it is too much to be perceived comfortable. Half a second would be better - just a glance is enough.
  • Indirect approach - means the opposite of an attack... A hunter aiming at a prey would go directly for it. Dogs are polite and signal to each other that they have no hunting intentions - and they do that by aiming, not directly at the other dog, but at a point somewhat a body length to the side. It is as if they are just about passing by each other as they come close...- you just aim at passing by the dog, right until you are the very closest you can come - then you turn your body around on the spot and meet face to face!
  • Nose-nose contact - is the key element of the greeting. Exchange of the most important information takes place via the nose. The nose is the most powerful sense the dog has, so it wants to use this instrument to gather as much information it possibly can about the other party dogs will get a lot of personal information out of this. They will know the mood of the other party, the rank, the stress level, and many other important things we can only guess about...You should bring your nose down to dog level.
  • Licking - is, in the greeting ritual, most often a sign of submission, which you should appreciate. As a confident pack leader, you respond to this submission with peacefulness - in this situation best shown by turning your head away and down (down, in order to avoid showing your throat, which a pack leader cannot do...)
  • Sniffing ears, side of neck, and shoulders - This area will contain a lot of information about the other party's history. Well, that's the canine way of making a photograph of something that was worth memorizing. Remember, we talk about animals for whom nose is many times more important than eyes...
  • Sniffing rectal area, genitals, and bum - Don't be offended when the dog turns the bum towards you - it is simply an invitation to confirm the greeting! The most peaceful way the dog can signal its acceptance of you. Give that bum a good rub and enjoy your pack membership! And: don't be offended if the dog wants to sniff those areas human society has taught you are private... From the dog's side, it is nothing more than an appreciation of your true personality.
So the next time you come home... be prepared.. be aware .. and don't get pissed off!

This is true of other animals too... not just dogs... it is only that dogs have been around (really closely around) man for along time that we have begun to understand some of their actions and gestures...

I recently read that elephants too use urine to understand, control and accept the hierarchy of the members of their herd.