This article has been reprinted with the permission of the author. Her bio is at the end of the article.
No Dogs Allowed
By Lillian S. Barber
The heat was already becoming oppressive in spite of the dry air, and the roadside scenery was changing gradually toward the brown and sandy colors of the desert.The road, sparsely traveled, ran straight ahead in monotonous ribbon. There was a little dust in the atmosphere, but the sky sat above it with brilliant blueness not often seen by city dwellers. The static was starting to encroach on the classical station from Los Angeles, and she kept adjusting the dial although it was not much help. Eventually the static overwhelmed the music, and she shut the radio off.
The lack of good music was just one of the string of annoyances that added to her discontent. Desert living had never been all it was cracked up to be; and, of course, now it was nearly unbearable. Fortunately fuel supplies had not dried up along with everything else during the Bad Year and it was still possible to drive almost anywhere one wished to go.
She reached down and lovingly stroked the small, silken head stretched across her knee at the same time keeping her eyes alert for the road block she knew would be ahead at some point before the hill.
It had been in the year 2017 that the breeders had finally lost their battle. With a good part of the world in chaos after the incredible destruction of the quakes during the Bad Year and the crop losses and ensuing extreme shortages that followed the unseasonal freezes and relentless drought afterwards, the government had decreed that there would be no more reproduction of animals that served no practical purpose. Zoos were allowed a breeding pair of each surviving species of wildlife, and the newly formed Federal Kennel Club, actually a branch of government, had selected two breeding pairs of each recognized breed of dog, displaying the animals behind a security screen of plate glass so that future generations might be able to see part of the world that once had been.
Now, four years later, the edict had come that all remaining pets were to be humanely destroyed. Like the old 55 speed limit, the unpopular law was largely ignored even by the most law abiding citizens; but it had become exceedingly difficult. Animal control officers were everywhere; and, once the government had realized how widespread the non-compliance actually was, militia were pressed into service in order to change things.
For Toby and Laura Travis living in a high desert canyon reached by two miles of rough, steep dirt road had become a blessing in disguise. Laura, especially, had always hated it, not only because of the slow, soul jarring ride to and from the state highway but because of the isolation it engendered. Now the remote and well secreted little house gave them more than the privacy they had originally sought for themselves and their small family of well bred Italian Greyhounds. With the chain link runs removed and the kennel signs taken down, the property no longer looked as if dogs lived there. Although it went against her grain, Laura had had the two noisy ones in the group debarked before the local veterinarians had been forced to give up their small animal practice due to lack of clientele. It was fortunate that Italian Greyhounds, unlike some other toy breeds, are not at all yappy.
She spotted the camouflage colors of two vehicles ahead. At one time she had considered it rather odd that the Marine Corps used jungle colors in the desert, making the tanks and uniforms far more noticeable against the drab background than they would have been had they not been sporting camouflage; but now she was glad of the incongruity. She gave the little dog one more meaningful pat and said, firmly, “Down. Stay.”
At one time, when they had been used in Obedience competition, those commands had meant something quite different. Now they were a vital part of staying alive. It was risky to take a dog out in the car at all, but Domino had been trained well, and to her “down” meant to lie perfectly still on the floor until released from the command.
Laura reached behind the seat and picked up her sweater from the back. She dropped it gently over the dog, made sure her shoulder harness was properly fastened and took her wallet from her purse. Since the Bad Year there had been so much looting and thievery, mostly of heavily rationed food supplies, that the Marine Corps had cordoned off parts of the desert that were difficult to patrol, allowing only residents with identification and visitors with proper credentials to drive into the area.
As always, her heart pounded as she rolled to a stop and waited for the young Marine to approach. She handed him her identification.
He was friendly. “How far have you been?” he asked.
” San Bernardino. Grocery shopping.”
The Marine took a perfunctory look around the car. They usually examined only vans and campers.
” The stuff is all in the trunk,” said Laura. “Do you want me to open it?”
He shook his head and waved her on, uttering the perennial, “Have a nice day!”
There hadn’t been one for so long, she thought sadly.
She accelerated to about 50 and made sure there were no more government vehicles ahead before releasing Domino from her hiding place. For the remainder of the trip she persuaded the dog to remain in a lying down position on the seat. It was difficult to accept the fact that there were people who would report a beautiful little dog although its meager meals came only from part of its owners’ rations. Well, before the Bad Year Laura had had a weight problem and had been unable to do anything about it. Now, with dog food no longer available even on the black market, all the necessary nutrition for the eight remaining IGs had to be scraped out of the not too ample food allotment of two people. Once again Laura was thankful that she had chosen to love a small breed. As she left the highway pavement to turn onto the dirt road to her house she caressed Domino fondly, reminded once more of one of the I.G. fancy’s favorite stories, that of Frederick the Great hiding under a bridge, his faithful Italian greyhound quietly under his arm, while enemy hordes searched for him. It was said that the dog’s inherently quiet nature saved his master’s life. Had he barked, the course of history might have been changed.
“You wouldn’t have changed the course of history, Dommie,” she said to her companion, “but I would have put up one hell of a fight for you if you had barked and that kid had discovered you.”
The long, slim tail beat a tattoo on the car seat. Domino recognized the jostling caused by the pitted, unpaved road and knew that they would soon be home.
As she pulled into the nearly hidden driveway she noted that Toby’s car was still gone. She felt relief that none of the dogs inside barked. It had been a difficult task to train them not to sound an alarm when a car approached, but these days silence was a necessity. At first Toby had objected to their gross disobedience of the law. He had suggested that they keep Domino and maybe another of the younger dogs and turn in the others; but Laura had threatened to load all of them into the camper and to become a permanent fugitive as so many others had attempted in an effort to save their beloved pets. “I’ll take your .38 and they’ll have to take the kids over my dead body,” she had sobbed; and Toby, knowing her well after 25 years of marriage, had relented.
The other seven dogs greeted her with the flattering enthusiasm to which she had grown so accustomed. without it she knew she could not face the rather bleak life they had been forced to live since the Bad Year. She petted them all for a few minutes, then hushed them and went out to the car to unload. Domino was still romping joyfully in the sandy soil, having been cooped up for half a day.
The sound of a car caught the simultaneous attention of both of them. There had been a time when the dogs’ superior hearing would have picked it up far ahead of Laura’s; but she had learned to be alert to such sounds. She picked up a plastic sack of groceries —paper bags had been outlawed right after the Bad Year —and called Domino to follow her into the house. When she came out again she could see a government car starting up the final hill. Her heart leapt into her throat. She cracked open the door to admonish the dogs to be quiet, closed it again and walked out onto the driveway to await the visitor.
It was one of the dreaded Animal Control vehicles, and it pulled up right behind Laura’s Americar. Two men got out, both wearing the uniform of the ACS. One carried a rifle, and the other brandished an official appearing paper.
” Mrs. Travis?” asked the one with the document.
” Yes,” nodded Laura, terror transmitting the shaking of her body to her voice.
” We’re from the Animal Control Services,” the man said superfluously. “We have a report that you are harboring some racing dogs.”
In spite of her fear Laura almost chuckled. Even now people were so stupid about Italian Greyhounds. Then, forcing composure, she said, “Racing dogs! Of course not!”
” May we enter your house?” the Animal Control officer went on. He showed her the document. It was, as expected, a search warrant.
” The place is a mess,” Laura replied frantically. “I just got home. Couldn’t you come back after I’ve had a chance to clean?” She knew it was hopeless, but she had to try something —anything.
” Come now, Mrs. Travis,” said the man. “That would just give you a chance to hide the dogs or move them somewhere else, wouldn’t it? Step aside, please.”
” There are no dogs,” she insisted in desperation. At that moment one of the IGs —it sounded like Crissi, who had actually had surgery to prevent it —began her hoarse bark.
” Crissi, shut up!” Laura screamed. It was a gut reaction. She and Toby had yelled at Crissi so many times before the Bad Year. Crissi’s insistent, Doberman sized bark had often incited the other, more typically quiet dogs to join in. The debarking had been done as a last resort in spite of Laura’s distaste for the operation.
” Please step aside,” the ACS officer repeated firmly.
Laura continued to block his way. “You can’t come into my house!” she shouted.
Suddenly, without warning, the other man hit her in the stomach with the butt of his rifle, knocking the wind out of her. Everything went black.
When Laura opened her eyes she was drenched in perspiration. It was no wonder. It was mid-July and the power had gone off, a not too infrequent desert occurrence, especially when everyone was using air conditioning. Crissi was out in the dog run barking her fool but pretty head off. The six month old puppy had just jumped from somewhere across the room right into the pit of Laura’s stomach, waking her from the sound but troubled sleep into which she had fallen while reading the mail, a piece of which had dropped to the floor. She picked it up and looked at it again. It was a renewal notice for the county dog licenses for the year 2006-2007. Laura began to laugh. Then she became aware of Domino curled softly against her on the sofa and tears formed in her eyes. She hugged the sleek form tightly and looked around the room at her other heat loving, calmly snoozing Italian Greyhounds.
” I love you guys,” she said with passion —and with great relief.
About the Author
Lilian Barber is a highly respected breeder and judge of Italian Greyhounds. A past president of the Italian Greyhound Club of America and of the Kennel Club of Palm Springs, she has had four books published about the Italian Greyhound, is a regular columnist for several dog magazines and has written articles on subjects that include travel, music and exotic pets. Her most recently published book is a moving auto-biography which has received great praise.
When buying a new puppy it is important to think carefully about where you buy it from. If you buy a puppy from the wrong source you might end up with heart breaking dog health care problems on your hands. This is because of the danger of unwittingly buying a puppy who was born in a puppy farm.
Dog health care is a long way down the list of priorities for puppy farms and their proprietors. On the contrary the puppies that come from them are rarely healthy. Those puppies who have been farmed frequently fall victim to physical and psychological illness. They also frequently demonstrate problem behaviour.
Such problems are caused by the situation in which these puppies are kept. Preoccupation with profit means that conditions are almost certainly poor. They have little space to move around and almost no human contact.
Health wise the dogs suffer too. They are fed poor quality foods in small quantities and mother dogs are malnourished. Females are forced to breed as often as they physically can from the age of four months onwards, only being allowed to stop when they die or become too ill. Such frequent breeding leaves mothers and puppies unhealthy. Puppies are removed from their mother’s care too early so that she may be forced to have another set. And this coupled with lack of human interaction causes behavioural problems and dog health care problems.
Puppies in pet shops are usually the product of puppy farms, so it’s not advisable to buy them. It is also difficult to be sure where puppies in internet or newspaper adverts have come from. This is why anybody considering buying a puppy from an advert should insist on seeing the puppies with their mother and even the father if possible. Any seller who makes excuses when asked this is not to be trusted. Even if a farmed puppy seems like a cheaper idea, the saving is lost when extra vet bills and heart ache for the owner are considered. No reputable breeder would touch farmed puppies, so asking for recommendations from other dog owners is a good idea.
Among the list of coolest looking items now available for dog lovers and people that won’t wish to lose his or her favorite pet dogs, is the GPS dog monitoring models. A good example of one of the best pet monitoring collars would be the RoamEO GPS. This really is excellent for your family dog if he or she tends to take off away from home. If you’ve ever previously used up hours trying to find your puppy when your dog had gotten free, you may certainly recognize the value of such a piece of equipment.
The process is made up of two various parts. Your RoamEO collar is positioned around your dog’s neck. The training collar is light-weight and shouldn’t be a worry for your pup by any means. He’ll be roaming around with it on in a matter of minutes. The special training collar is actually embedded with GPS technology and you have a handheld LED display that allows you to track the precise place, movements as well as path of the canine. Hence visualize your pet dog getting away on accident one particular night. Under natural situations that would end up being extremely frightening but with the use of the GPS system, you will have no issue tracking down him or her and driving to the exact location to pick him up and take him home along with you.
Another awesome factor about this system is the ability to produce a electronic fence for your pet. It’s produced while you go around throughout the perimeter of the place to be driven by you. The GPS monitor will automatically input and record the points while you walk, setting up a area for your dog that’s now known to the GPS training collar around his neck. Normally individuals might walk all around their property lines to mark this particular place to which they do not want their family dog to travel past. When your pet does go away from of your perimeter or virtual fence, you will be advised via the LED display by an alert sound. You’ll instantly know that your pet has gone outside of the boundary of the virtual fence you have setup.
The RoamEO GPS dog tracking system can also be made use of with more than one dog. Feel free to use this kind of solution with three more canines. The system is sold with the LED display and just one training collar, but you can find extra dog collars which could all be made to cooperate with your principal GPS display. For those who have several pet dogs, as numerous dog lovers do, this might definitely end up being something anyone would want to think about as I’m sure that you’d probably not wish to lose any one of your pups.
We hope that this article helps to shed some light upon a number of choices for you if you’re currently facing a naughty dog that keeps making his way throughout the community. Maybe you are only starting with a brand new puppy. This might be an ideal complement to your training methods while you navigate your new puppie’s obedience education. Regardless which GPS method you choose, they will all help to offer you a sense of relief as well as allow you to be much less anxious regarding the potential for your puppy running away.
For anyone who is privileged enough to have a puppy included in your family, you then are definitely worried about your beloved pet’s wellness. A standard problem amongst dog owners is that of parasites, particularly the several types of worms that can take up residence inside your dog. In this post, we will talk about the signs and symptoms, treatments and suggestions for this typical challenge.
Drontal Plus Canine is among the best deworming medicines to administer to your dog. This specific medication will cover the elimination of all the types of worms which includes tapeworms. roundworms, hookworms and whipworms.
You need to go to the vet to acquire a prescription for this treatment, but he or she will be able to diagnose it straight away.
There are a few methods to know if your puppy possesses worms, none of which tend to be particularly pleasant to look at. If your dog is exhibiting any signs and symptoms like vomiting, weight loss, or blood in his stool you should first inspect the stool to check for the existence of worms or worm segments. This would be a fairly typical method to tell if your puppy has worms.
If you do see worms, we recommend that you do get your dog to the vet even though you will find medicines available that wont require a prescription. These types of over-the-counter medicines might be harmful for your dog if the correct dose isn’t given. Furthermore, some canine worms are only able to be removed with a medication like the Drontal Plus that your vet will have to prescribe.
Even when you do see the worms with your own eye, you ought to gather a sample of the pet’s stool to take to the vet because there are sometimes very small worms that can only be observed using the microscope. Your vet will probably also perform a blood test since some tiny worms like heartworm can be lethal if they are not caught and treated in a timely matter.
Typically one serving of the prescribed treatment, would be a highly effective remedy for all the primary parasites that may be causing the problem. The kind of treatment described here consists of Praziquantel, Pyrantel Pamoate and Febantel as its main ingredients. Praziquantel is primarily used to fight against tapeworms, one of the most common in dogs being the Dipylidium caninum. Pyrantel Pamoate generally treats against roundworms and hookworms. This is the ingredient that causes abrupt contraction and paralysis of the worm. Febantel is the part that is highly effective against whipworm. If you are using Drontal on it’s own minus the Plus it does not include the Febantel and wouldn’t heal for whipworms, so it’s important to have this also.
It would really be a fairly typical incident for your puppy to have worms at some time or another throughout his life span. It’s nothing to become excessively troubled or worried about as it may be treated very quickly and easily. Simply keep an eye on your dog for the signs and symptoms above and make sure to take him to the vet for his regular appointments and this should be something that you will not worry about.
There are many types of dogs toy to choose from when you are looking for the perfect fit for your pet. The personality of your pet and your family will play a big factor in the type of toys that you select. When you are looking for playthings for your pet the age of the animal, whether they are teething or not, and their activity level, will play a role in your selection as well.
Some dogs prefer playthings that are made for small children. This is especially true when they are a family pet and there are small children in the home. These pets are often a part of the family and are dressed up in childrens clothes. In other cases, the dog will have its own toys and be very protective of them.
The personality of your pet will greatly determine what type of toy you select. It is important that you avoid any type of plaything that has small parts which may come loose and harm your dog. In addition getting chew toys that have a wide weave can be harmful to puppy teeth.
When a dog likes to chew on their plaything, getting products that are made from all-natural materials, are durable and sturdy, will be important. Many of these toys are made from hemp, rawhide, or leather. The materials are easily cleaned and hold up to abuse and wear.
However, it is much better for the dog, and safer, to purchase balls that are made specifically for pets. The materials in most sports equipment will harm a dog if the fibers are ingested.
Designating toys specifically for your pet will be important if you have children. Many people allow their puppies and children to play with the same toys, resulting in puppies chewing on children’s toys when they are teething. It is very difficult to teach a dog not to play with human toys, if it is raised playing with these toys. In addition, it is not always best for small children who are teething to chew on your pet’s playthings.
When a person fails to designate your dog’s playthings from their children’s playthings, there will often be a problem with toys. Pets cannot differentiate the playthings that are okay to chew, and those that are supposed to be carefully cared for.
When you are choosing dog toy, keeping in mind the environment that you keep your pet in and whether or not the toys will be shared with children, will be a deciding factor in the type of playthings that you get. Getting pet dog toys that are durable, sturdy, washable, and can be sanitized if necessary will be very helpful in finding playthings that will have the lasting effect that you want.