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      25.06.2012 17:48
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      How can you not love a dog?

      I wanted to tell the story of my beautiful little dog, Sally. She was a crossbreed - between what we'll never know, but we think she was mostly collie, with some whippet, and a mixture of a few other breeds. She looked a bit like a little fox.

      Over the past few weeks I have had to make the most heartbreaking decisions when it came to my beautiful Sally. I had to do the hardest thing I've ever done and let her go. My gorgeous little doggy developed cancer. She had a malignant tumour in her mouth that was causing her so many problems. This tumour, as well as causing her pain in itself, was causing her to lose her sight in one eye and was causing her to have problems with her breathing. The location of the tumour meant it was pushing against her eye and her sinuses, damaging them. It was also affecting her brain in some way, causing her to find it really difficult to control her movements - it was hard for her to walk, harder for her to control her bladder. All this pain and discomfort from this evil tumour that had developed extremely quickly. It was really hard to see her deteriorate, but the rate she did was very very scary. She went from being a very happy, very playful for her age (she was 8) little dog to being a dog that could barely lift her head at times in a matter of weeks. At this alarming rate of deterioration there was very little the vets could do for her. We did have the option of an operation, but this operation would have been extremely high risk - with the risks made even higher due to the location on the tumour. The chances of her pulling through were really low. The chances of her fully recovering, even if she survived the actual operation, even lower. Even then it would be several painful months for her to recover. And even after all that, she had a problem with her kidneys that was manageable without the cancer, but putting her through all that trauma could have led to her body going in to kidney failure. The kindest thing we could do for her would be to put her to sleep. Such a painful decision for me. But would take away all the pain for her.

      Before all of this though Sally was the most beautiful little dog. About the size of a small collie, mostly black with little white paws and a bit of white on her tummy - never white for long! For a middle aged dog she still acted like a puppy. Was really playful and enjoyed playing with the other dogs in the park - especially getting muddy. It's a good job she used to enjoy her baths too! Sally was a rescue dog. We don't know her history, but whatever happened to her had made her really nervous around people. As well as being nervous she could be a naughty little thing when we first got her. She loved eating the post that came through the door for one thing. And she hated the postman. If we were out walking her she would know if she saw a postman and start barking and going crazy. She had basic commands, but she chose when to listen - which wasn't often! I took her to dog training classes. I got trained more than Sally. Sally learnt to listen to me. Through lots of love and attention (something I had the impression she didn't get before) she became the most perfect dog, though she still had her mischievous streak! She was perfect. By introducing her and the hamster together slowly she even made friends with Kovo. She used to let him climb all over her. How many dogs do you know that would let a hamster sit on their heads?!

      We may have had to let her go, but I'm certainly never going to forget her. Because of Sally I now want to do the same thing for another dog. Get another rescue, and improve their life like I did with Sally. Not yet, the wounds from losing Sally are going to take a while yet to heal. But that one little dog has now inspired me do rescue others. If you are considering getting a dog, please think about getting rescue dog. They may be hard work when you first get them. But it's amazing what a little bit of love can do for a dog. I could write a book about Sally - from how she was at the beginning to how she was at her happiest. Knowing WE did that for her. It was us that gave her a life she could really enjoy. And that is something to be proud of. When I think about all the good times we had, this heartbreak I'm feeling now feels so worthwhile. If we hadn't adopted Sally her life could have been totally different. It is so painful, her not being here, but knowing that we improved her life by taking her home - now that is priceless.

      I miss my lovely little dog so much. It's so hard not having her here. She will always be that tiny bit extra special to me over any other dog as she was the first dog I ever owned.

      I'm so sorry I had to let you go Sally. It was the hardest decision I've ever made. I couldn't bear to keep seeing you in so much pain. I really hope you enjoyed your time with us, and all the things we did together. I hope you're not in pain any more little dog and are running around somewhere playing with all the other doggies that their owners have had to say goodbye to.
      Love you so much and for always. x X x

      === Update ===

      It's been a year since we've had to say goodbye to our special Sallydog and I still miss her. We do now have another little dog - Buster. A Jack Russell cross pup. He was about 5 months old when we got him, and now (June 2013) is approximately 11 months old. Mischievous, cheeky and a bundle of energy it's hard to believe he's only been here 6 months. He's doing well though, training him the same way I trained Sally. Another dog that could have had a very different lifestyle - he was rescued from someone who has been prosecuted by the RSPCA. He wouldn't even walk through a doorway when we first got him - so used to being told off for it (all the dogs were kept in one small room), but as we speak he is chasing his ball around the room, tail wagging like crazy, enjoying being a puppy dog. :-) It is such a great feeling knowing that you have changed a little dogs life. :-)

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        10.01.2012 21:14

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        Our dog, Bernard, is now nearly 3 years old - he is the most intelligent dog I have known (to the point of opening doors and finding toys if asked, or making his way upstairs to his favourite rug), and very laid back. He is obviously very bright, and this makes him a lot of fun to play with (say "hello" (WO-WO), fetch, stay, sit, roll over, paw, beg, go round and round, fetch, "go there", squeak, and he has taught himself to poke us with paws if he's bored).Highly recommended if you have a lot of space, as ours at least does not tire easily, and without enough exercise will become quite hyper. If you have the space, and dont mind the weird fascination with filthy puddles, they are outstanding.

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        06.04.2010 14:45
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        Don't be put off

        I have a 2 year old wait for it..... rottwellier crossed with a king charles spaniel.
        yes, as amazing as it seems it's true.
        I have always longed for a rottie, one day I went into a local pet shop and saw these 14 rottie crossed with a spaniel, I thought oh my god I have to have one, plus I have never come across this breed before, even on the internet.
        I went to the home that had breed them, they told me it had happened by mistake...

        The mother was the rottweiller! Huge dog, mean looking but a huge softy.
        The father this little King charles spaniel.

        I held a male, number nine I knew I had to have him. He was adorable, playful, and kept licking my hand.

        Funny looking thing the body is the same as a rottweiller, broad and musclely.
        Head is so much smaller like a king charles, but he had the makings of a rottwellier, the mask, brown above the eyes, but his oat was so soft, not corse like i thought it would be.
        Even the vets were amazed when we took him to his first appoinment, the girls were alot smaller the boys ranged to chunky and musclely.

        Now Tyler is now 2 years old, pretty much fully grown, he is weighty around 4 1/2 stone, long body very stocky, height is to my knees, he is very playful, bit mischevious but lots of fun, he is full of health and has had no health problems exept a dew claw which has been removed.
        Alot of people get put of which rottie but honestly, he is the biggest softy ever.
        He is a lovable dog, likes his cuddles, treats, walks and to be fussed.

        Don't be put of by cross-breeds!

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          30.08.2009 20:51
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          research first before you get one.

          We were looking for a small dog, as we only have a small 2 bedroomed house. We liked the shih tzu but as my dad has a bichon fraise we liked the characteristics that she had, after lots of research we found a cross between the two, alot of people advised us against a cross breed due to illness etc, but we went to a proper breeder and bought a male puppy. He is a very strong and healthy little dog, who got a good medical report from the vet. I think that with cross breeds you get a good mix of both dogs and they develop their own little characteristics. The only problem with this being that when my puppy was and still is training you don't know which breed to train him by. With a cross breed you can not be registered with the kennel club but if its the dog you love who's bothered about that, as long as you do your research first and find a good breeder all should be well, in my experience it has been.

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            03.05.2009 17:49
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            Furry family reunion

            As a sunset, it fades and another voice lifts
            like an oboe's sweet tones,
            this Teacher's voice drifts...

            "Protection, Service and Loyalty!
            My songs are as varied as my breed.
            Beloved by Divine, humble, and royalty...
            My great heart and spirit your love will feed,
            Yet nothing
            twixt Truth and Self
            should intercede!"

            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
            This four part poem can be found in it's complete form under the first Teacher discussed, Wolves. Yes, this is another Bloody Long read! Take it in parts, give it a miss, or take it all in as you please. You've been notified. :) Wishing you Laughter
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

            "To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring--it was peace." - Milan Kundera

            "I think we are drawn to dogs because they are the uninhibited creatures we might be if we weren't certain we knew better. They fight for honor at the first challenge, make love with no moral restraint, and they do not for all their marvelous instincts appear to know about death. Being such wonderfully uncomplicated beings, they need us to do their worrying." ~ George Bird Evans

            "Yesterday I was a dog. Today I'm a dog. Tomorrow I'll probably still be a dog. Sigh! There's so little hope for advancement." - Snoopy

            Dogs are as many and varied as Man, but have been more often glorified in story, literature, poetry, song and film than possibly any other animal other than the horse... and justly so! Consider for a moment the wealth of dogs made famous by literature, song, film, and television. Rin-Tin Tin, Lassie, Nana from Peter Pan, Mickey's Pluto, the heroic Underdog and his lovely Polly from the Underdog cartoons, Toto from Wizard of Oz, Scooby-Doo, the much beloved Snoopy from the Peanuts cartoon, Prince Llwellyn's faithful Beth Gelert, Dodie Smith's brave Pongo and Missus from 101 Dalmations, Diane Duane's superlative Ponch from A Wizard Alone and A Wizard at War, White Fang, Benji, clever and comical Gromit, Ol' Yeller, Stanley Ipkiss' dog Milo from The Mask, Odie, Verdell from As Good As It Gets, Orphan Annie's Sandy, Astro from the Jetsons' cartoon, Lady and Tramp, and even Frank the alien pug in Men in Black give us a broad view of this marvelous Creature Teacher, yet this list could have gone on a lot farther!

            Some exemplify strengths, others demonstrate canine foolishness, and although each fictional Dog has a character all its own, together one can see the traits that make Dog so beloved by humans. Loyalty, generous hearts, honesty, familial devotion and harmony, friendship, cleverness, courage, selflessness, and keen senses used to achieve goals, and protection of loved ones, especially children.


            "Our most basic instinct is not for survival but for family. Most of us would give our own life for the survival of a family member, yet we lead our daily life too often as if we take our family for granted." ~ Paul Pearshall

            "There's facts about dogs, and then there's opinions about them. The dogs have the facts, and the humans have the opinions. If you want the facts about the dog, always get them straight from the dog. If you want opinions, get them from humans." ~ J. Allen Boone, Kinship With All Life


            When drawn to Dog, one should examine as many breeds and relations as possible as there are approximately 400 recognized breeds worldwide. Some were bred to hunt, some to defend owners from other dogs, to pull carts, to retrieve game, to pull carts, or even to extract small burrowing mammals from their dens. The lessons held by a Jack Russell terrier are unlikely to be the same as those held by an English Mastiff.

            Looking at a specific breed can certainly give you clues to how you personally connect to this Creature Teacher. Dogs as whole should be examined by anyone who feels called by any of the Canine Teachers, which leads inextricably back to their wild cousins; wolves, dingoes, coyotes, jackals, foxes, and hyenas. Canines, except for the cunning Fox, run in packs, after all, and the importance of family should never be discounted by any of the Canines.

            "A Pekingese is not a pet dog; he is an undersized lion." ~ A. A. Milne

            "Things that upset a terrier may pass virtually unnoticed by a Great Dane." ~ Smiley Blanton

            "Our dogs will love and admire the meanest of us, and feed our colossal vanity with their uncritical homage." ~Agnes Repplier

            "From the dog's point of view, his master is an elongated and abnormally cunning dog." ~Mabel Louise Robinson


            It was easiest for me to come to know Dog as a Teacher as a domesticated "mixed breed", or put more simply, a healthy mutt who combines qualities and lessons from all of the Canines; a meeting between the wilder ways of Wolf, Coyote, and Fox and "domesticated" life in all of its doggy variety. All Dogs, for example, are pretty clear about what they do and do not like. Basically honest creatures, Dogs will growl at and follow suspiciously anyone they do not like or trust, hide when they are scared, leap for joy at the sight of their leash in their humans' hand, turn up their noses at food they don't like with utter disdain, and eagerly await a treat with obvious, oft times drooling or prancing, anticipation.

            Generally, you know where you stand with a Dog right up front. Dogs also prefer to convey and respond to such social stimuli without a major fuss; to establish pack order with as little actually fighting as possible. Yet, when we as dog-owners are training our pups to behave properly, we don't always pick up on or understand the signals they are sending us. This is when trouble starts. Dog people too need to understand and be aware of the signals they are both sending and receiving. If we are continuously missing or miss-interpreting signals in either direction, we can become like the confused and fearful dog backed into a corner. Aggression or excessively submissive behavior are also clues to the Dog person that they are not in a balanced state.

            "Dogs communicate through energy, you display leadership by projecting calm, assertive energy"

            "Your dog needs exercise, discipline, and affection in that order"

            "Your dog needs you need to understand what it means to be a dog" ~ Cesar Milan

            Dogs appreciate the good things in life though. Family, cuddles, food, work, sex, sleep, play, even just an interesting scent... Dogs tend to throw themselves into whatever they are doing whole-heartedly, with complete abandon and unashamed enjoyment. Well balanced Dog people are very similar to well balanced dogs, whatever the breed. I have found that, like our furry friends, Dog people tend to prefer affection over discipline or exercise, but our need for a balance in our lives of all three of these ingredients is just as vital for the two-legged Dog as it is for the four-legged ones.

            Walking is important to Dog people too. There is something elemental in our need to walk. It allows us time to clear our minds, to take in the world around us in an interactive, positive and sensual way.

            "We have to use exercise, discipline and affection every day. Most of the time people share affection, affection, affection, and that creates frustration. In a powerful breed, that's going to lead him into aggression. So exercise and discipline play a big role in balance." ~Cesar Milan

            "He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion" ~ Unknown

            "Dogs have given us their absolute all. We are the center of their universe. We are the focus of their love and faith and trust. They serve us in return for scraps. It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made." ~Roger Caras

            "A leader leads by example, whether he intends to or not." ~Author Unknown

            Dog people need to be aware on many levels. What aspects of our doggy natures are we encouraging? Pay particular attention to the main rules of a good life... Be Honest, with yourself and others. Be Aware. Avoid Extremes. Knowledge begins with Awareness, and Peace begins with Balance. Follow the rule of three (as in, three strikes and you're out). To all Wolves, it is the Pack that takes precedence over any other consideration. Dogs, while more loosely knit, are very similar in structure. I think Dog people struggle with finding a good balance in this Pack aspect of their lives more than Wolf people tend to, perhaps it is simply a side effect of domestication. Like Wolves though, Dog People need to look within and around them with clear eyes, to be good pack members. Know yourself, both flaws and strengths, while working to eliminate weaknesses and improve your strengths.

            Likewise, know those you consider "pack mates". In a successful pack, everyone knows their place and can rely on the others to do their part. This has become a gray area to a lot of domesticated dogs simply because we have taken them out of their natural pack environment and have, usually, not given them any solid structure to replace it. Dog people suffer from the same problem. All too often we dog owners coddle or humanize our pets when we need to be leading them in a calm and confident manner.

            A true Alpha, whether Wolf, Dog, or Human, does not lead because he/she is stronger, fiercer, bigger, louder, or better at throwing their weight around. A true Alpha leads by consensus of the pack because, in their eyes the Alpha exemplifies all that the pack strives for and has all the qualities needed to bring success to the pack. A leader is born, not made, and the best man for the job is usually the one who doesn't want it! This is what makes balanced and aware Dog people such wonderful leaders and great Teachers. For every Dog will have his day, and like Wolf, should know that someday they may have to lead the pack.

            Perhaps it is important to note here the seeming animosity between wolves and their domesticated cousins. Wolves will attack dogs, and people do like to speculate why. Ultimately I think it comes down to two factors; dogs are competition much like cheetahs are to lions in the wild, and dogs never mature in their behavior like wolves do. Dogs behave very much like juvenile wolves even when they are quite elderly, which makes perfect sense when you realize that all domesticated dogs were bred to be less independent and aggressive than their wild cousins. To the wolf though, dogs must seem like dangerous and spoiled teenagers who have taken up with their greatest predator, humans. Lest we forget, many breeds of dog were raised specifically to hunt and protect their masters from their own wild relations.

            This could be interpreted in many ways when looking at Creature Teachers. People who are more Wolf than Dog might fall into the trap of thinking of themselves as more "mature" or superior. People who are more drawn to Dog than Wolf might find the Wolf people they encounter to be too aggressive, arrogant, aloof, or threatening. The balanced individual might realize that the only true conflict lies within themselves. We are all dogs with the potential to become wolves again if we would only stop treating each other as competition, or easily understood and labeled beings.

            If you feel called by a specific canine Teacher you will most likely still exhibit traits and experience lessons from all of the Canines throughout your life. This poem was the first in all of the series to combine four related Teachers because when I sat down to write about them they refused to be written as separate poems! The inspiration and words would simply fall silent when I considered them as separate Teachers. Together, they became a mystically howling chorus that sent shivers up and down my spine.

            To me, All My Relations means that we actively look for, acknowledge, respect and are grateful for our eternal spiritual connection to everything else in the Universe around us. It can be challenging to see yourself in a stone, or believe without hesitation that you are being offered a deeply spiritual lesson by a blade of grass. In our society today we do not consider the fate of a tree as important as having a place to shop located conveniently. We destroy the natural balance of a location without thinking of the lasting consequences to us all, and usually for the most inane reasons. Even those who are consciously working on their spiritual development though can become confused by the labels we place on things, the lines we draw between one concept and another, or even the metaphorical tasty bone! These Teachers remind me that the closer the Relations the more the lines blur within us until Unity is found. The Canine Teachers would like us to learn the sense of universal brotherhood that they share rather than ruthlessly treating everyone and everything around us as competition to be eliminated.

            We should each be striving simply to be worthy, whatever our social position may be. We should also be looking for the natural leaders within our children. A Native American Elder once said that to find our leaders, we need only watch our children. Encourage those that the other children turn to for leadership, and give extra guidance to those that seem to struggle. This has always made perfect sense to me. Together, these Teachers sing a song of such loving familial devotion and tender respect for learning expressed through their care of the young that I've stopped wondering to myself if it's a "Dog" or "Fox" or "Wolf" lesson.

            This Pack Wisdom was simply given as a gift from one Relation to another; neither one of us being greater than the other on the Wheel of Life, but All of us being vital in reaching and maintaining a harmonious Life together. There are many obstacles between parents and children rife in society today, whether self-imposed, circumstantial, or societal. This unbalanced aspect of society is one more contributing factor to our disassociation with Nature and general disharmony with the Universe around us. Reaching out to the children in our society by taking them out into Nature to play and learn is the first step towards teaching our society a loving respect for Nature. However whether we are 2 or 92, it is never too late to realize our Unity with the Universe.

            "It is good to realize that if love and peace can prevail on earth, and if we can teach our children to honor nature's gifts, the joys and beauties of the outdoors will be here forever." ~Jimmy Carter

            As an adult, Loyalty is a vital issue for Dogs, and shouldn't be given blindly. Don't give your trust or loyalty where it hasn't been earned. This means actually earned, not just given because you love someone, or enjoy their company. We are often all too willing to overlook some poor choices or bad behavior in those we love or like. This is, perhaps, even more important to Dogs than it is to the wilder Wolf, as dogs are very devoted creatures. Much to the shame of mankind, our canine companions have been known to overlook terrible abuse for just the hope of a kind word, a scrap of food, or a single moment of affection from the people in their lives. Love is indeed a powerful and divine gift in life, but even something good can become bad when we allow it to go to extremes.

            Love freely given without suffering from abuse is a truly wondrous thing, and it is easy to see how we can become utterly bewitched by the search for Love. Someone once said, "Flattery looks like friendship, just like a wolf looks like a dog". Follow the rule of three... as in three strikes and they're out! Keep in mind too, just because someone was, for lack of a better term, unworthy of your love or loyalty, doesn't mean that you shouldn't wish them well and continue to feel that swell of love and concern that should, rightly, be extended to everyone and everything we encounter. Why miss another opportunity to spread something as wonderful, rare and uplifting as Love, even if you don't interact with them any more? The trick is to not allow our sense of sorrow or pity mislead us, like the treacherous Will o' Wisp, over a lethal cliff!

            "Every human has four endowments: self-awareness, conscience, independent will, and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom... the power to choose, to respond, to change." ~Stephen R. Covey

            "Power comes not from the barrel of a gun, but from one's awareness of his or her own cultural strength, and the unlimited capacity to empathize with, feel for, care, and love one's brothers and sisters." ~Addison Gayle Jr.

            "The world is not a problem; the problem is your unawareness." ~Bunty Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh


            Awareness, love, forgiveness, and loyalty, like most things in Life, should start with the Self though. If you cannot give yourself the same consideration that you would extend to someone else, then something is seriously out of balance. "To thine own self be true.", or put more accurately by the wise and witty Eleanor Roosevelt, "Do what you know in your heart to be right, for you will be criticized anyway." Either could easily be Dog mottoes. In essence, we should not allow the poor choices of others to lead us away from what we know, in the core of our being, is the better path.

            Dogs tend to be curious and stubborn creatures too, even when they meet with less than enthusiasm to their boldly inquiring ways. How many have gotten their nose scratched because they couldn't keep it out of the cat's face, nipped because they just had to keep sniffing the new dog, or full of quills because they just had to know who was living down that hole? Persistence is a great quality, it will see you through a lot in life, but try to resist that rigid stubborn streak that will have you following paths you started down...simply because you started down them.

            Dogs like to a. form packs and b. rescue others. These aren't bad things, but we need to be truly aware of whom we are inviting into such an intimate and binding arrangement as "our pack". Just as we need to understand that no matter who someone is to you, no matter what trials they are facing in life and no matter how much you want to reach out and help...you cannot help someone who doesn't believe that they need help, or does not want to help themselves. Dog people are often driven by the desire to help others, to feel needed. There is nothing wrong with offering a friendly paw up to someone in need, but Dog people need to be aware of the help they are offering and make well-considered choices over whom to help, when and with what.

            Jealousy over people or things, unnecessary worrying, being too territorial, hoarding, nervous eating, yelling before you know what you are reacting to, hanging on with locked jaws when we should be letting go, or otherwise allowing Instinct to override Reason are also important issues for Dog people. Calling someone a "Dog" in our society is often a reference to their over-active and rather indiscriminate sex life, yet another example of being led by instinct and basic drives.

            "Like music and art, love of nature is a common language that can transcend political or social boundaries." ~ Jimmy Carter

            "Millions of men have lived to fight, build palaces and boundaries, shape destinies and societies; but the compelling force of all times has been the force of originality and creation profoundly affecting the roots of human spirit." ~ Ansel Adams

            "Many are stubborn in pursuit of the path they have chosen, few in pursuit of the goal." ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

            It is extremely important that we be aware and set reasonable boundaries for ourselves. Like their Teachers, Dog people have great heart, great spirit, and it takes a lot to break a Dog...but we should do all that we can not to set ourselves up for a fall. Dogs are often victims of their own folly, and subject to hubris. Consider the Danish proverb, "An honest man is not the worse because a dog barks at him.", and try to let your conscience be your guide. If we've had one of our faults pointed out to us, we should be thankful for the opportunity to correct it. Amazing how many just tend to grumble and growl about it, though, right?

            Dog senses are incredibly keen and it is just as vital for Dog people to listen to their hunches as it is for them to not allow Instinct to overrule Reason. If a situation doesn't "feel" right, or you "smell something fishy" that you can't quite put a finger on... don't second guess yourself. Your instincts and heightened perceptions will often set off alarms within you long before your brain has the evidence it needs to process a given situation.

            Faithful service, loving devotion, the small becoming great, Instinct and Reason in harmony, noble heart, great spirit... Dog embodies all of these things when well-balanced. Imbalances can run from occasional "bad dog" moments up to the very worst of any given breed; extremes of violence, infidelity, other, and even rabidly destructive behavior. Remember Ol' Yeller? Whether human or canine, Alphas in society should exemplify all that is best in the breed so that others may follow a good example.

            Mankind alone makes a habit of following leaders who are less than exemplary, less than balanced. Well-balanced Dogs inspire us to better ourselves, be loving and generous with our fellows, work diligently for the good of all, and to become that which inspires us; to be a leader and set a good example for your pack, the World. Dog reminds us that concepts like "pureblood" and "mutt" are merely illusion, and no one is more important than anyone else on the Wheel of Life. We should celebrity our diversity as the strength it is rather than getting caught up in labels. Is it any wonder that so many people are enamored of this marvelous and generous Creature Teacher? Possible balancing energies: other canines, felines, squirrel, cattle, sheep, rabbit, snake, rat, horse, various members of the Plant Nation like grass, trees (dogwoods for example) or the dog rose. How does Dog appear in your life?

            "He is my other eyes that can see above the clouds; my other ears that hear above the winds. He is the part of me that can reach out into the sea. He has told me a thousand times over that I am his reason for being; by the way he rests against my leg; by the way he thumps his tail at my smallest smile; by the way he shows his hurt when I leave without taking him. (I think it makes him sick with worry when he is not along to care for me.)

            When I am wrong, he is delighted to forgive. When I am angry, he clowns to make me smile. When I am happy, he is joy unbounded. When I am a fool, he ignores it. When I succeed, he brags. Without him, I am only another man. With him, I am all-powerful. He is loyalty itself. He has taught me the meaning of devotion. With him, I know a secret comfort and a private peace.

            He has brought me understanding where before I was ignorant. His head on my knee can heal my human hurts. His presence by my side is protection against my fears of dark and unknown things. He has promised to wait for me... whenever... wherever - in case I need him. And I expect I will - as I always have. He is just my dog." - Gene Hill

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              01.02.2009 14:36
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              Buy a mongrel!

              Mongrel, mutt, cross, Heinz 57; whatever you call them, cross breeds are a rewarding dog to own.
              After wanting a labrador for years, my boyfriend and I went on a visit to the local dog's home. Whilst walking around I was stopped in my tracks by an enourmous black face peering out at me through the cage. His sad eyes looked at me as if begging me to take him home.
              He was obviously part labrador, but not a pedigree. To this day we don't know what he is crossed with, but we believe him to be half rottweiller.
              We had to wait a week or so before we could pick him up, but since then we have had the most amazing new addition to our family. He was house trained already, his walks nicely on the lead, he is fantastic with children, and doesn't chew anything.
              But the best thing is, all things being equal, he will have fewer health problems than a pedigree. Even his insurance is cheaper for this reason.
              Although he isn't an expensive pure breed, he is handsome and beautiful and only cost us £60. I also don't have to worry about him being stolen - no one would steal a mongrel.

              If more people realised the benefits of owning a cross breed, then I am convinced it would help the thousands of dogs who suffer because their mother and father were also brother and sister. The Kennel Club has a lot to answer for.

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                12.01.2009 22:51
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                Lovely, adorable doggy!

                I have always wanted a dog and after my lovely white cat passed away i decided to get a dog for a change.

                He is called Whisky and he is very soppy and cute. He is a great pufter!! Constantly rolling on to his tummy for tickles!

                I have owned my beautiful labrador/collie cross for 2 and half years now and he is now come up to 4 years old. He is black alround with a white ghost on the front of his body and tiny little white socks. He has a large snout and wonderful big bold brown eyes which are irrestible for when he is beggin for food. Awww. ( see profile picture for photo). We got him from our local doggy home, diana brimblecombe. We chose him as he loves football and is simply adorable.

                In my case, a labrador/collie cross, they have to be taken on a lot of walks as they need to exercise regularly. I take him out for a small walk in the morning just around the block for about 20 minutes so he can have a tinkle and in the afternoon when i get back home from work i take out for 1 hour and a half in the woods.

                In the woods Whisky loves a roll in fresh horse poo and likes a lovely drink from the sewage pipe! ewww! Whisky is very friendly dog and gets on well with most dogs.

                At home he is very playful and his favourite toy is the squaking pheasant. Whiskey also loves piggy ears, paddywack, bonios and a nice bit of tripe! yum! yum! After giving him his treats you wish you hadn't, the smell that comes out of that boys backside is harendous!

                Cross breeds are great fun and its a change from those pure pedigree pooches that aren't allowed to get there shampood fur dirty!

                Walkieeess!!!!

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                05.05.2008 10:47
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                mans best friend

                A year ago we looked into getting a new dog to join our family as we missed having a dog around. We looked into adoption but it wasn't viable as there would not be someone home all day everyday so we looked in the Friday ad each week at what dogs and puppies were available. Intially we wanted to get a dog around two years old that would already be housetrained but ended up getting side tracked by puppies.

                We had already discussed that we would ideally like a dog that was part Labrador or Retriever as they make good family pets, particularly with children around. However we didn't want a pedigree on the basis that they are more susceptible to various diseases and also one of the negative qualities of a Labrador is that they can be quite greedy and over eat obsessively and we didn't want to have to struggle with its weight.

                One week we saw an advert for a litter of puppies that were Labrador X Border Collie. We enquired about them and it turned out that the litter had been the result of an accident between a working dog on a farm getting a bit too jiggy with a working dog from a neighboring farm. They wanted the puppies to go to good homes but needed them out of the way as soon as possible so were selling them for £200 each which is low for this kind of crossbreed.

                We went to look at them and feel in love immediately. They were bright, lively, friendly and very attractive. There was only one girl left in the litter and as we had wanted a female dog we took her. She sat on my lap in the car home and was very well behaved, cuddling up and falling asleep most of the time.

                When we got her home she was quiet and tired and slept a lot for the first few days.

                We researched the two breeds that she was made up from. Obviously as with humans, each individual dog will have its own individual characteristics but there are those which can be generalised to each breed.


                The key features of the Labrador are as follows:

                Main Stats:
                - Size: 56-57 cm (Male), 54-56 cm (female) in length
                - Weight: 25-35 kg.
                - Color: Black, chocolate, golden or red
                - Hair: short and woolly.
                - Life Span: 10-15 years
                - Intelligence ranking: 7th

                Positive:
                - cheerful, loyal, lively nature
                - Short coat which needs minimal care
                - steady-tempered and dependable
                - Gets on well with other animals
                - Very eager to please so are incredibly responsive to training
                - Ranks number 7 in dog intelligence ratings
                - Affectionate and like to be near you
                - Make good working dogs due to their retrieving tendancies and eagerness to please.
                - Patient with children
                - loves water and have good swimming skills.

                Negative:
                - Require vigerous exercise
                - Require a lot of mental stimulation
                - Can be very bouncy - jumping up if not trained and excercised properly
                - Have a tendancy to carry objects around in their mouths and chew a lot
                - Shed fur
                - Can have a large range of serious health problems in pedigrees.
                - Can be hyperactive
                - Large dog means it can be difficult to walk and handled if not trained properly.
                - Do not make good guard dogs!
                - Can be quite greedy so care has to be taken with feeding to prevent them being overweight.
                - Separation anxiety if left alone for more than a few hours.



                The key features of the Border Collie are:

                Main Stats:
                Size: 53-55 cm (Male), 51-53 cm (female) in length
                Weight: 14-20 kg.
                Color: Solid, bicolor, tricolor, merle, sable
                Hair: short and woolly.
                Life Span: 9-15 years
                Intelligence ranking: 1st

                Positive:
                - Medium sized dog (not too big, not too small!)
                - Attractive easy care coat
                - Incredibly athletic
                - Respond brilliantly to training due to high intelligence
                - Make good working dogs (are often used on farms)
                - Enjoy game playing such as fetch for hours on end
                - Loyal
                - Is ranked as the most intelligent breed of dog
                - Eager to complete tasks
                - Cheap to feed and not a fussy eater
                - Very agile

                Negative:
                - Needs intense exercise and constant mental stimulation
                - Can become hyperactive and destructive if does not get stimulation needed.
                - Herding characteristics can be transferred to anything that moves (children, cyclists, runners etc)
                - Sheds fur
                - Can have a large range of serious health problems in pedigrees
                - Can be suspicious of strangers if not well socialised
                - Can be quite vocal
                - Compulsive chasing and stalking
                - Separation anxiety if left alone for more than a few hours.
                - Can be manipulative and use their intelligence to their advantage to 'train' you!
                - very excitable
                - Need to be trained properly


                Bonnie's Characteristics:

                Being a mix of these two breeds we were taking a gamble as whilst we were hoping that our puppy would be a mix of the best qualities of each breed, there is also a good chance that she could have been a mix of each breeds negative qualities and in that case we could have ended up with the dog from hell! Luckily it didn't turn out that way and we are delighted with her.

                One of our big concerns was regarding her temperament as she was intended to be a family pet. Luckily she has turned out to be very affectionate and friendly, always wanting to be curled up next to you with her head resting on your lap. We socialised her well when she was a puppy so she is very happy around people and with the exception of a little too much jumping when she gets very excited she really does know how to behave well around people. The jumping issue is one which was learnt when she was a puppy - because she was so small, cute and fluffy she would climb up so that people could stroke her and everyone encouraged it because it was cute - unfortunately she now gets upset when people don't like her jumping up now that she is four times the size!!

                She is energetic and loves to be playing and exercising but can also be a little bit lazy which is nice as it means she is not too demanding. She entertains herself very well when there is no one around as she loves playing with her toys and whilst she would prefer to play with someone, she can amuse herself quite happily. She is very good at playing fetch as the retrieving instincts of the Labrador are strong. She absolutely adores water and is a very strong swimmer. This is generally a good thing as it's a good form of exercise that doesn't put pressure on the joints and uses up her energy nice and quickly if you don't have time for a long walk. However her love for water is not just limited to the nice clean water that we don't mind her going in - in fact the muddier, murkier and smellier the better!!! If she sees a big muddy puddle she will run to it and lay down in it which isn't pleasant! Although at least she is happy to get in the shower to be washed down if she stinks!

                Her intelligence is very high. With the border collie being deemed the most intelligent breed of dog and the Labrador being the 7th most intelligent, she had good chances of being bright but she still shocks us now. In theory dogs can recognise and understand about 200 words or commands. We spent a lot of time training Bonnie when she was a young puppy and have always communicated with her almost as if she is a human.
                As a result she responds to the basic commands of; Sit, stay, lay down, give paw, wait, jump, don't jump, roll over, leave, etc. But she also can process complex sentences and series of instructions which we are really impressed with. For example she would understand and respond to the command: "Go and find your ball/toy, get it and then give it to Emma/take it outside" She completes the whole command and it can even be added to so after giving the instructions she might struggle to find the ball and we can say "its upstairs" and she will use that information to carry out the instruction.

                She is good at following instructions such as; go and find... or give this too... or go and give (name) a kiss. She also understands discrete differences between sentences so she knows the difference between "go and find daddy" and "go and find daddy's shoes".

                When I take her to my mums she always says to Bonnie "leave the chickens alone" before she goes into the garden and she understands and responds to this. Bonnie also communicates her needs well through vocal and body language. She will make a specific "woof" sound when she wants something. If it is something she is near (such as wanting to go out the back door she will gesture her head towards it and stamp her foot. If it is not clear what she wants she will respond to questioning. For example; if she were asking for something I would ask questions such as "do you want to go out?" or "do you want a drink?" or "do you want dinner?" she will make a shaking gesture with her head if it is not what she wants and to respond yes she makes a woof noise which sounds remarkably like "yes" and nods her head and stamps her foot. This process of questioning her also works for getting her to make decisions. Such as: "do you want to go home, yes or no?".

                This last week she has begun to try and vocalise words. She makes a howling noise which strongly resembles "Emma" when she wants my attention and I am ignoring her and she also is getting better with making sounds to indicate "yes", "no", "out" etc. No one believes me until they see her do it and then they are amazed!

                Bonnie has a good awareness of peoples feelings, behaviours and emotions. For example if someone cries she gets very anxious and will bark and be over affectionate. If you smile at her or show that you are cheerful she wags her tail.

                Her intelligence makes her very pleasurable to interact with, play with and talk to because she understands. She is not very demanding other than wanting to play which makes her easy going and not too much hard work. From when she was young, we got her used to being left on her own. Even just being left in the kitchen at night which has been beneficial as whilst she has access to the whole house almost all of the time, if for any reason we do need to shut her in a part of the house it doesn't upset her. She is also very good when we are out in the day as she is not at all destructive and does not get at all upset. In fact, half the time when given the choice, she would rather stay at home comfy on the sofa than come out!

                Training Bonnie has been enjoyable as both of the breeds that make her are breeds which are generally keen to learn, eager to please and respond well to training. She loves praise but is particularly fond of treats.

                We had initial problems with house training her which was through our own fault. Once Bonnie was old enough to go out into the garden we encouraged her to do her business out there using praise and rewards. She did get the hang of this and would happily go outdoors. I think we went wrong here as we kept the puppy mats indoors so as far as she was concerned she had the option to go indoors or outdoors. Whilst her outdoor toileting was going brilliantly, indoors became another matter. She soon was going where ever she pleased and showed no sign of being bothered to get the treats for going on the mats. Telling her off proved no good as by the time we stepped in a puddle of wee and found it she would have forgotten she was even responsible.

                This pattern of her going outdoors if she was out there but then happily doing wees and poos all over the kitchen carpet carried on for about four months and we made desperate attempts to encourage her to go outside or even just to go on the mats. In hind sight it makes sense that with so many options open to her it was far too confusing and we should have just focused on getting any excretion outdoors!

                Suddenly, one evening over a few bottles of wine, we realised what the problem was and felt incredibly stupid!! Amongst all our efforts of praising her when she goes outside, trying to discourage her from going inside, moaning when we had to clear it all out the carpet and generally despairing about it we realised that we had never actually taught her how to ask to go out in the garden! It sounds so simple looking back but with the whole commotion of it we hadn't got that far!!! We had already taught her the command 'say woof' too which she would bark but never thought of linking it to the opening of the backdoor so she could go out!!

                Sure enough, after about three goes of saying 'bonnie, say woof'. And the opening the door when she barked so she could go out she soon got the hang of it and within a couple of hours was fully housetrained!! From that moment forwards we have not had a single wee or poo indoors and when she wants to go out she comes and finds one of us, stamps her foot and says woof!!! She even plays on it now is she sees a tasty looking squirrel outside!! She also will say woof, go out, squat down briefly and actually PRETEND to do a wee just so she gets a treat!!! Clearly it was out stupidity which was the real barrier to her housetraining and if only we had realised this sooner we would have a hell of a lot less hassle, mess and stench!!!!


                In terms of her physical features, Bonnie is quite a big, heavy dog weighing in at 22kg and has a mix of physical features from both breeds. Her fur is black with white marks on her paws and one on her chest which are the only real signs of the border collie. Her fur is slightly longer than a Labradors fur and she moults much more than a Labrador does which is the only real negative thing we have to say about her as we need to hover literally every day. Her eyes have the soft puppydog look of the Labrador but when she is focused have the intensity of a border collie on a mission! Her eating habits are generally good as she is not as greedy as we expected she might be meaning that her weight is fairly easy to control. Since being spayed she has been a little more greedy but the vet said this is often the case. She is not a fussy eater and will eat everything and anything. Including very unpleasant things such as fox poo!

                She mouth and gums are soft in the same way as a Labradors which is the reason they are used as retrievers as they can carry things in their mouths without damaging them. She is also very good with my rabbits and will happily play with them only needing to be occassionaly reminded to calm down! She does like to stalk them occasionally and to herd them which is the border collie instinct but doesn't tend to want to eat them which is good! She did once catch a sparrow mid-flight as it flew past her but she looked so shocked as she did it that she just stood there looking confused until told to put it down to which the sparrow shook the slobber off its feathers and flew off!

                Slobber is a little bit of an issue when we are eating. She is good at not begging for food but unless told to go away she will rest her head on your leg and when she moves you will find your leg is soaking wet with drool!
                Bonnie plays well with other dogs although can sometimes be a little bit too dominant and needs putting in her place. She is good off the lead and responds well to recall.

                Bonnie is quite inquisitive which keeps her mind occupied. She loves to press buttons with her nose, gently move objects and open and shut doors! She also loves playing with baby toys by pressing her nose or paws on the buttons etc and watching the result!! When she goes to stay at my grandparents, there is an ornament on a shelf which she always without fail, gently moves to the other end of the shelf using her nose! The button pressing can be a little annoying as my 8 year old brother found when he was playing on his Nintendo Wii and has just got really far when Bonnie walked up to the console and switched it off!!
                My grandparents have a male Border Collie cross Labrador who is very similar in his temperament and all other characteristics. He is from an entirely different litter to Bonnie so it shows that these desirable characteristics of this particular cross-breed can be common.

                So to conclude I will summarise the positives and the negatives of the Labrador X Border Collie Cross-breed from my experience.

                Positives:
                - Intelligent
                - Good temperament
                - Energetic, loves to play and loves to swim
                - Very responsive to training
                - Loves to please
                - Good with children and small animals
                - Does not suffer from bad separation anxiety.
                - Communicates well
                - Sociable (with dogs and humans)
                - Physically attractive
                - Agile
                - Affectionate
                - Steady-tempered
                - Not expensive to feed
                - Cross breed minimises the risk of illnesses and diseases which are breed-specific.
                - Cross breed results in combination of positive characteristics from two breeds.


                Negatives:
                - Extreme moulting
                - Requires a lot of stimulation, space and exercise
                can be heavy to walk on the lead
                - Cross breed can result in combination of negative characteristics from two breeds.


                Overall:

                Bonnie was cheap at £200 as crossbreeds of two good breeds can be very desirable pets to have. We are very pleased with Bonnie, she will be two in July and is already very much part of the family. By getting a crossbreed we have managed to get the desirable characteristics of two very intelligent dogs and we couldn't be happier. I know I am biased but I would definately give her 5 stars!

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                  11.04.2007 17:59
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                  They get a bad rap, but cross breeds can be as intelligent as any breed if not better. also cheaper

                  I have found that when you talk to people about dogs cross breeds generally get a bad rap, now I can only go from my experience of a cross breed.

                  And to prove I want to tell a true story of a cross breed so that people will consider them when thinking of a dog.
                  When I was 12 years old my brother came home from being with his friends and said that he had been to the Rspca in Blackpool and said that there was an Alsatian puppy and that it was going to be put down the next day. Now my mum being bit of a sucker for alsatian when the next day to see for herself.

                  Anyway my mum in love with the dog straight away and took her and bought her home. We called her Sheba. Andthe rspca was not going to put her down.

                  The reason she was at the rspca was because Shebas previous owners locked in a shed with no food and left her, and she was only about ten days old. And although she did look like an alsatian she was also half labrador.

                  When we first got her she was scared everthing and everyone. She stayed under the table for two days getting her to trust us was hard but when we did she turned into the best dog and in fact a full breed could not match this dog.

                  She had a good temperment, was easily trained and was good with chidren and babies. Her are just a few examples and I promise they are all true.

                  When me and my brothers would fight she would jump in between us and try and stop us crying while she was doing it.

                  When we went out as a family and took Sheba with us she would walk with us without a lead. If any of us fell behind Sheba would stop and wait for us to catch up.

                  When I took her for a walk on my own and take her to a field she would never wander to far off always keeping me in sight.
                  But she was very protective of the family.

                  When any young children came around they would pull her and play with her but she never got angry, it was as if she knew they did not mean it.

                  We had two cats and they got on great in fact many a time they would sleep together. The only time she got angry was when other people bought dogs around she did not like them in the house. Or she she did not like men who wore leather, we think this is most likely because her previous owner may have worn leather.

                  She was 14 when she died and we had all grown up and moved away, but when she died we all cried, and that is four men who are 6ft and over all crying. She was more part of the family than a pet, even now as I write this I have a small tear in my eye.

                  I hope that I have helped you in that if you are thinkung of getting a pet go to the rspca and consider a cross breed, because rspca will make sure they are healthy well and all checked out.

                  I would just like to wish everyone all the best

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                    05.12.2006 22:22
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                    Good all rounders

                    So four years ago we decided that it would be a good idea to get another dog as our darling Robbie was getting very old and we didn’t want our Bulldog to get lonely when Robbie, very sadly, passed away.
                    So even though I desperately wanted a big dog again, my mum wanted a smaller one, so we decided upon a Yorkshire Terrier…I’m sure there was a valid reason for that.
                    Alas, we didn’t have any luck finding a Yorkie so we began looking for a Chihuahua.

                    After phoning several of the rudest people I’ve ever spoken to in my life, we were very close to giving up on the whole idea, (although I very nearly persuaded my parents to get a Wolfhound), but then I saw a little advert in the middle of the page: - “Yorkshire Terrier X Chihuahua puppies £250”, I rang and everything was fine so we went to pick up our little guy the next day.
                    I should mention that cross breed dogs seem to be more expensive than SOME pure breeds, which I find a little bit odd, Yorkie X Chihuahua puppies seem to be up in the region for £300-350 nowadays, although expect to pay more for slightly more exotic cross breeds.

                    Eventually, after the standard ‘getting horribly lost in the middle of nowhere’ scenario, we found the address and we were greeted by a little hoard of Yorkshire Terriers and Chihuahuas, surprisingly they weren’t yapping!
                    Now the puppies were quite possibly the smallest things I have ever seen in my life, very, very adorable little bundles of…well, tinyness.
                    One was extremely apathetic and uninterested in…life, apparently, but we gave him a fair chance just incase he was polite and not pushy. Then we looked at his brother who literally threw himself at us, a very charismatic and lively little guy it was absolutely impossible to resist him and so we took him home.
                    Upon his arrival home we realised just how tiny he was, cue that awful sick feeling in stomach and massive Bulldog charging towards miniscule puppy, oh yeah, and darling, grumpy old Chihuahua getting all uppity about the intrusion.
                    Somehow he didn’t get trampled, but we didn’t dare risk leaving him in the kitchen at night with the other guys incase he got squished.

                    He was actually a hideously active puppy considering the breeds he’s mixed with and his size, our Jack Russell puppy has been less hassle then he was. He wouldn’t settle at night and I had to sleep on my bedroom floor to keep him quiet, of course after a month of sleep deprivation and him “teething” on my nose in the early hours I decided to let him take his chances on my bed. Bliss.

                    He was also quite easy to housetrain, he would have been even better if we hadn’t been so worried about letting him in the garden without a lead on, (I really cannot stress just how small he was/still is).
                    Now everyone says how wonderful crossbreeds are with their health, which I will say is true to an extent, but take heed and consider the breed combination carefully.

                    You might get a dog with the worst traits of the breeds, so I strongly advise that you take a good hard look at the environment that the puppies have been living in, especially look at the parents so that you get a really good idea of their personality, and obviously if the breeder isn't aware of what the puppies are crossed with it's probably for the best that you avoid buying one. I think that extra caution is necessary in this area for larger breed combinations, for example if you want a GSD X Border Collie you don’t want the worst traits of those breeds in your puppy, and do the obvious things like checking that the puppies jaw alignment is correct (which I didn‘t do).
                    Of course if you decided to buy a rescue dog this will all have been done for you (except of course checking the parents personality).

                    My little guy, being a combination of two tiny breeds, has quite a few of their negative traits, particularly the soft spot on the head.
                    During the first few weeks he fell off of a chair and screamed, and screamed and scared everyone silly, luckily he was okay, a few weeks later he ran into a doorframe - only this time he didn’t make a noise, his held his head at angle and staggered around, which was one of the most distressful things I’ve ever seen one of my dogs do, but thankfully he was fine after a few seconds.
                    I kept him wrapped in bubble wrap for a few months and finally his little head is hard as a rock.
                    He also has the awful Chihuahua snorts, which he seems to do more than any Chihuahua I’ve ever known, especially when he's excited, not to mention an overshot jaw (which doesn’t stop him from eating or anything else) and dislocating kneecaps (which aren‘t causing him any difficulties).
                    So please don’t think a crossbreed is indestructible, none of my purebred guys have these kinds of problems, but then don’t let those possibilities change your mind about getting a crossbreed.
                    We would still have bought our little guy despite knowing what we do now, yes, even though someone thought we had a chicken when he ‘barked’.

                    He is a wonderful little guy, very loving and great with kids, but he still hasn’t gotten over the addition of a Jack Russell and is very hostile towards him.
                    He completely has the ‘little dog’ attitude, he’s smaller than a kitten (at four years old) and thinks he’s a Rottweiler.
                    He's a delight to take out, although obviously larger dogs scare the life out of him.

                    In short I would highly recommend a crossbreed.
                    They're extremely easy to get hold of, just look in any rescue centre, although a rescue dog obviously isn't practical for everyone.

                    From my experience with cross breeds I would say that some of them are far more beautiful, intelligent and loving than purebred dogs and make truly excellent pets without the price tag.

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                      21.07.2006 00:37
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                      dogs have feeling,are a full time commitment,they are costly,need lots of love,AND ARE FOR LIFE!!!!

                      About five years ago,I went to choose a new dog as sadly my loving,Roxy sadly passed away at the age of 12.

                      I had Roxy for six years,I had chosen her from the Kennels,I paid about £45.00 for her at the time,which to some people may seem alot ,but these dogs are abandoned and need to be re homed with loving families.I loved her from the first minutes I saw her.She was the most loving and placid dog I had ever met,she loved to sleep in the bedroom with me but never ever on the bed,she always wanted to sleep at the bottom of the bed so she could protect me all night long.
                      Just after I had bought Roxy .I gave birth to my first child,and to be totally honest,I knew there would be no problems with Roxy,Because she was so loving and affectionate.and the kennels had told me she had come from family who had children.
                      I was so right she loved my daughter,never harmed her,took to her straight away and even though ,as my daughter grew,it didn't bother Roxy that my daughter used to lie on her and stroke her.
                      Sadly as I have already said my poor Roxy passed away.The only good thing about it,is that she passed away peacefully in her sleep,however both myself,and my daughter were devistated.I vowed I would never get another dog,as there was no dog that could ever replace Roxy.
                      Its funny how time can be a great healer though,because one day I was chatting to my friend in town who I hadn't seen in ages as she asked me,if I knew anyone who wanted any six month old Cross German shepherd puppies.
                      I must confess I had a son by then as well,but my daughter looked at me and asked could we just go and see the puppies,if nothing else,just to have a look at them.
                      The look in her eyes said it all,and ok maybe I am a big soft touch but I agreed.
                      The next day we went to my friends house,and it happened again,there in front of me were five lovely German Shepherd cross puppies.I said to my friend "I thought you said there was six",and she replied "There is,but the one male is very frightened and like an outcast of the litter,and that he was in the kitchen hiding".
                      I asked could we go and see him,and there in front of us was the most beautiful and friendly looking puppy I have ever seen.I could not resist,we all fell in love with him straight away.
                      We took him home with us there and then,and Buster became the new member of our family.

                      We had him about six months when,one day I was out shopping with the children,and my partner need to post a letter.
                      Unfortunately we were having problems with out front door struggling to get it to shut properly.The nearest postbox was in the next street,which happened to be a very busy main road.
                      My partner went out to post the letter and pulled the door hard,he thought it had clicked shut,but unfortunately it didn't and it came back off the catch.
                      Our faithful Buster went looking for us,and as he crossed the road,he got hit by a car and was severely injured.My partner was
                      devastated ,as we all were,but he phoned me ,told me what had happened and that he was rushing him up the vet,so I met him there.We were all in a terrible state and thought we were going to lose him,but by some miracle,He survived.
                      He had Two front paws broken and all his nose and jaw bone damaged.
                      It took us alot of Love,Care and attention to bring him back to health ,he could not walk and had to be fed off a fork,but after all that love,affection and attention Buster recovered.
                      He still has weak paws,he is never allowed out on the street unless being walked,always on a leash.and has a few minor problems still with his jaw,teeth and nose.

                      He is part of the family so deeply and truly loved,he is in no way,vicious or aggressive he is the most loving affectionate dog i have ever known.

                      he loves to play ball,and if you put a small stone on the floor he will lay around for ages with it like a footballer practicing his moves.I confess he is spoiled rotten,he sleep on the bed with me,and if someone knocks the door he just lets them know he is there,then he is all affectionate.
                      The only problem,which is not a problem really is if i have someone coming to do repairs on the house,and my partner is in work he lets one person it and is sort of ok but stays by me feet and will not move from me.I know he is protecting me but when a sky engineer came to the house and had to call a college in for help that was it.Buster was very upset and i had to have him held on his lead the whole time they were there as he does not allow more than one stranger in at a time when i am alone.I know he`s protecting me.

                      what makes me laugh is Buster would not harm a fly,he likes to chase birds to play with them but all he could do is lick you to death.However the stigma that goes with German Shepherds means anyone who comes to the door and doesn't know him are petrified.
                      Still I suppose it puts burglar off HEE HEE.

                      On a final note.Dogs like all animals need lots of love and attention and are not cheap.The saying they are for life not just for Christmas is very true so anyone thinking of getting any animal should always take these matters into hand before buying a pet

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                        27.07.2004 04:40
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                        My mum had always kept dogs and she had always owned pedigrees, until about 9 years ago. Our previous family dog (a border collie) had died and my mum insisted that we weren't getting another dog because of the heartbreak involved when they pass away. So for a year we were canine free, but we all missed having a little four-legged fur ball getting all our clothes covered in hair. It was January when my dad decided to take the family sledging, and being the big kid that he is, he insisted on having the first go. The plastic sledge, however, wasn't so keen on that idea and promptly broke. Cue tears from my sister and I and a hasty retreat to the car amid promises of a new sledge. It was while we were driving around trying to find somewhere to buy a sledge that we passed a rescue centre and went in for a look. A litter of puppies had just been brought in. All were black apart from one little brown bitch that we instantly fell in love with. So that is how my family came to be acquainted with Meg the dog, our first mongrel. Like any puppy, she was playful even if a little nervy from the start, and like any puppy she took a bit of training before she stopped chewing on everything in sight and making little puddles on the carpet, but now she's grown she's a marvellous dog. Mongrels are far cheaper than pedigrees and therefore seem a good choice for first time dog owners. If my memory serves me well, I think Meg cost us £40, while the price of pedigrees vary, but is generally going to be about £100 at cheapest, and usually substantially more. However, it can be a bit of a gamble as it can be difficult to gauge the natures of mongrels if their two parents are not known. It is also hard to assess what they are going to turn out like. Meg looked very like an alsation as a puppy, but now looks more like a cross between a collie and a spaniel. <
                        br> Mongrels often seem to have better health than pedigree dogs and a longer life expectancy, although careful care and feeding can obviously increase any dog's health. However, if a particular quality is needed in a dog eg. intelligence, a pedigree is a far better choice as certain breeds tend to have certain characteristics, while mongrels can really turn out any old way. Like any dog, a mongrel will need company and training. Dogs are not a good choice of pet for an owner who is going to be out a lot as they are social animals and can be quite destructive if left alone for long periods of time. Meg is quite a lazy dog, and so we usually only make a point of walking her 2 or 3 times a week, although we do give her the chance to run around the garden most days, and usually put aside some play time for her every morning and evening. She isn't a large dog, but still takes up a fair amount of space. I wouldn't mind so much if she didn't insist on stealing the couch! She's relatively inexpensive to keep. She gets fed tinned dog food generally, but gets dog biscuits quite often and sometimes gets meat such as chicken or tuna served up. Pet shops and animal rescue centres will be more than willing to advise you on caring for your pet. In fact, the animal rescue centre we bought Meg from paid to have a chip implanted in her and paid for her to be dressed, which is standard practice there with dogs bought, and something that would not be provided as part of the service if you bought a pedigree. Of course, vet bills are the most expensive aspect of having a dog, especially since puppies require so many injections. There is pet health care plans available now, enabling you to spread the cost of vet bills, however. There can be a lot of snobbery in the dog world, but I would advise a potential dog owner not to overlook a mongrel, especially th
                        ose in rescue homes waiting to be re-homed. Mongrels can be loyal, obedient, loving dogs, and I know I wouldn't swap mine for the world.

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                          30.10.2003 19:10
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                          • "...I want there to be more advantages so am jsut going to fill in a gap! Oo an extra advantage- they're cheaper"

                          He may not be pure Shih Tzu, but to me, Gizmo, my Shih Tzu, is still a gorgeous dog, and being a cross breed, I'd like to explain just why he is so special.... Dating from the times when Emperors ruled Tibet, the Shih Tzu is considered a utility dog. These brave yet often tiny dogs were given as gifts to the emperors to protect them and hunt for rats. Presently though they are becoming considered more of a lap dog that prances around with long fur, begging for a trophy at dog shoes. After taking my Shih Tzu Gizmo, appropriately named after the Gremlin (the cute version), up Moel Siabod and seeing him run up and down, doing well over double the distance of me, I realised that this was a dog that showed the true characteristics of a Tibetan Shih Tzu, although perhaps ever so slightly less glamorous, being born in Anglesey rather than the Far East! His father having a brown and white fur and his mother being black and white produced this mixture of black, brown and white, which lets face it, attracts any attention away from what I?m wearing and earns him many affection praises and strokes. With a dislike for the poodle parlour but a partiality for the vet, you can understand how especially different Gizmo is. With ancestors who protected the grand and important Emperors of Tibet it is unsurprising that this small fluffy dog protects me as much as he does a new toy that he?s just been given and averse to part with. Many a times has he barked out with all his energy at his other owners pretending to play fight just to see how protective and loving he really is. Perhaps this is why I am extra protective of him, or perhaps it is because being almost double the size of an average Shih Tzu (probably the other half dog in him) he still can?t protect himself from much larger dogs on beaches who are determined to pick a fight. There have been the odd few times where larger dogs come running over to him, sinking their teeth into his fur.
                          Although he may be shaking with shock, he always returns bounding with joy that he can return with his ever loving owners, knowing that he always has a place at home unaware of the countless dogs that are still being mistreated and abused by humans, because of this they could never hope to achieve the undeniably virtuous reputation of the dog. Perhaps there is some level of dog jealousy where attacks on him are instigated by his happiness at being doted on by three owners who ensure that he would never be treated in the way of some of these malevolent people we must chare the same label (human) with. But it?s not just his owners that adore him, how I wish I?d seen the sight of my Great Auntie Mair swinging Gizmo?s lead around her head to fend off seagulls wanting to take a lunge at him. I?m not too fond though of using the words ?pet? and ?owner? for something that has changed my family?s and my life so much. It can never be understood how something so far from are own ancestry can change a persons life unless they have experienced the unquestionable love of their own dog. How many people without dogs can say that their reception when they arrive home after leaving for even just ten minutes is that of mad jumping up and down and running around the house, or that every night they have something looking at them with loving eyes or ready to nuzzle up to them no matter what has happened to them or whatever they have done that day. Most of all though, how many of these people have someone that trusts them 110% with the running of their life and the outcome of their future. After having an operation to ensure he wouldn?t be upset by the smells of female dogs causing his painful colitis, I remember him lying on the bed crying with pain and melting under the hand that would stroke him lovingly or easing half a painkiller into his mouth while he is trying to lick you with gratitude. After the operation there was also the matter of another batch of
                          colitis that had to be dealt with. After a strict telling off from the vet about Gizmo?s diet, the hardest part was having to look into his eyes just begging for a titbit of sausage or ?god forbid? liver, and often having to overcome the debate inside my head, one side that loves my dog so much to not let him suffer in pain of more colitis, the other that loves my dog so much that I could never refuse him anything. There are of course many happier memories though, mainly involving all of his little quirky traits. Training as a puppy became more of an event to help him develop tricks that would earn him more affection in the future than something to turn him into a placid and obedient ?pet?. This ?training? involved the obvious shaking paws with humans, sitting on his hind legs and waving his paws for appraisal or for the odd chocolate drop or even lying down and rolling over with ears flapped back and mouth grinning with submission and pleasure at remembering my favourite trick. So what makes this small dog greater than other larger dogs that have saved babies lives, given disabled people an easier life or have even been better behaved and could do all this and more? The plain and simple answer is that Gizmo represents any dog loved by his owner, he shows unconditional love for those that play with him, walk him and care for him. He has all of the traits and emotions of a human without any of the obnoxious attitudes, pride, resentment or greed for the things they want and do not have. The short of it is that Gizmo is a dog that is more well behaved than most human beings, more loving, kind and trustworthy than most people I will ever meet and has a happiness brought about from the simple pleasures in life such as sniffing lampposts, trees and the occasional strangers hand lowering to stroke that head in which his round eyes and mischievous yet secret knowledgeable Mona Lisa smile is set. And here he returns to my side, oblivious to the
                          fact that I have just written a piece all about him but still treating me with affection and admiration. Now would any human do that if I?d just written about most aspects of their life if the main activities of their life involved sleeping, playing, walking and the occasional spot of dog sniffing? I could go on about other cross breeds but I feel that there are plenty of reviews that do that and this is just one look into a cross breed. The davantage and disadvantage points below highlight the facts about cross breeds.

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                            24.11.2002 01:16
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                            • "Became a little cantankerous"

                            Do, please, read to the end - you'll possibly see the point of this op! It's not specifically about cross-breeds as such. It just happens that Midge is. I refuse to say "was" and I am so thankful that our vet has been so thorough in re-housing her. Here we go. Tears welling up! As I cast my mind back nearly thirteen years ago, I very clearly recall strolling down the street in Canterbury with my, then, fiancee, Amanda, looking forward - would you believe it - to a barbecue as guests of the Canterbury Scottish Society. I'm not actually Scottish, but Amanda is - and very much so - and I thought she might like it. We were really looking forward to a few sausages and - given the nature of the host - perhaps a bit of BBQ'd haggis. I love haggis and, you never know, they might BBQ it well. I was never to find out if they barbecue haggis. I made a big mistake..... As we walked along the road, we passed a pet shop. We were feeling happy. I suggested we went in to look at the animals. I know you shouldn't buy animals from pet shops, but they had some puppies in there, and they were gorgeous. Silly me - I asked to look at them. One, in particular, rushed out, looking for the supply of dog-food and performed a few tricks. Huge amounts of character! Amanda and I looked at each other. It was either back in the cage. Or back home with us. You guessed! Out came £35 for the puppy and all the rest to make her comfortable, well-fed and happy. We went home with a new, much-loved member of the family. She was small enough to fit in the palm of my hand. We cancelled the BBQ and cooed as she went oh-so-peacefully to sleep in a fruit bowl on top of a kitchen work surface. We now had someone to look after. A little black-and-tan Heinz 57 with a sense of humour and a propensity for alcohol. This puppy sat on the patio in the sun and helped herself to the contents of my wine glass as if i
                            t were going out of fashion. First great memory! Then to find a name. After much debate, we selected "Midge". As a child, I just loved a TV cartoon called "Mary, Mungo and Midge" and all the pets I have "owned" have had deliberately inappropriate cartoon names. Mary lived in a high-rise flat, and had a dog called "Mungo" and a mouse called "Midge". The name was decreed. Major comedy moment! I'm a teacher. For my sins, I work in a fairly famous boarding school (it's the oldest school in the World, as it happens). When asked to look after a boys' boarding house for the weekend I agreed - on condition that Midge could stay with us. This was fine. On the Friday night, Amanda and I decided to go out for a meal and asked the duty tutor if she'd look after the dog. "No problem - what's her name?", she said. "Midge" I replied. I returned back to find the house in disarray. Apparently, Midge had run riot in the house and had been chased around by the most demure lady you could hope to meet, yelling "Minge!" at the top of her voice. Minge! I still cringe to this day. The lads had found it very hard to cope! Midge has given us a lot of pleasure. She's a great dog. She's now 12 1/2 years old and still acts like a puppy. We both love her to bits. She's not very well, however, and although she's usually been great with kids she was not too enamoured with the prospect of baby Josh's incessant curiousity. He patted her the other day and she bit him. "Fortunately", it was just above the eye, rather than directly on it. It's healed. A direct hit would not have done. The pair clearly cannot co-exist and a decision has had to be made. Our local vet has been a total and utter star and has managed to re-house our dog. I could not have lived with myself had this ended with a needle solution. As it is, I'm fighting back the tears - Midge is leaving us tomorrow at 08:30. I'll miss her immensely. We just can't afford to gamble with our son. Once bitten, never forgiven; or something like that. Thanks for putting up with this; I just wanted Midge to have a permanent place on the 'net. It might, also - though I doubt it - go some way to re-inforcing the slogan: "A dog is for life, not just for Christmas". OK - she wasn't a Christmas present, and she hasn't been mistreated. Just be very sure that you can cope before you take one on. Midge sleeps on our bed. We can't stop her doing it, however irritating it might be; She can be like a canine staple on my feet at times. Somehow, tonight, I don't think I'm going to be able to stop hugging her. For the last time. Thanks for reading. Andrew

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                              24.09.2001 06:49
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                              If you want a dog I'll have to cheer for cross breeds. They have a little bit of each of the breed they have in their bloodlines. Back in 1977 we purchased a dog and it was for my son who was four at the time. We figured they could grow up together and become good friends. The dog was part collie and part german shepherd. We went to get him on Christmas eve and our hearts were stole from us right away when we encountered this pup. All the other pups were jumping all over us and wanting attention and all of a sudden we saw this one pup skidaddle under the couch and of course we wanted to check him out. When we looked under the couch the pup was backed in the corner and would not come out. We even had to move the couch to get him out. Well, we were sold on this shy little guy. To look at this pup you would have thought you were looking at Lassie in the flesh. When he looked up at you with those sad eyes you just melted. We carried him to the car and gave him all kinds of attention and of course my son, Tyrone, laid all over him. He bonded with my son right away. As they grew up the two of them got into all kinds of things and the memories that came out of having Fluffy are many and beautiful. Like watching Tyrone and him run all over the backyard tumbling and wrestling trying to see which of them could get the best of the other. There was a tornado at one point when my husband was overseas and Fluffy who was always a house dog and very well behaved, started pacing back and forth in the living room, this was a behavior that just wasn't him. He came to me and put his head on my lap and started to whine. I got up and looked outside, it was after dark when this happened, and there were city people knocking on all the doors telling them they needed to evacuate because there was a big gas leak and it could explode at any time. Than there was another time that he was left in the house and we ended up having to st
                              ay at one of our friends house because our car wouldn't start and Fluffy had been left in the house for a day and a half. Well, we figured sure the house would be a disaster because he wasn't used to being away from us at all. We also figured we would have to clean up where he had gone to the bathroom. Lo and behold when we got back and unlocked the door Fluffy almost knocked us down to get outside and I don't know how many times he had to stop to relieve himself. There was absolutely nothing in the house at all. There was even a piece of pizza on the coffee table and he did not touch it. There is a whole lot more stories I could tell but than This op would never be done, now would it. lol When we left North Dakota to move to Kentucky we lost our big ole guy and moved heaven and earth to find him. But with no luck. We have another dog now but there just isn't a dog on this green earth that could ever match up to our big ole fluffy, collie/german shepherd. He had the heart and soul of a collie and he was the best dog we ever had.

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