An Untimorous Beastie

January 3rd, 2015

Over at Crooked Timber, Maria Farrell relates the tale of life with her 'hugely fluffy and dolphin-smiling Samoyed dog, Milo':

Before Ed and I had the dog's shit to talk about, I don't know how we ever whiled away the hours. Quality, texture, main ingredients, frequency and volume. There's a lot to discuss. In this way, I have, finally, become a little bit English. For a while, there, Milo's daily rhythm was primed perfectly to require a straining squat precisely as we passed the entrance to the local Tube station at the height of rush hour. This was around the time when he was ingesting rubber bands daily. (Any reader of online gripes about Royal Mail will know a key one is how postmen discard on footpaths the rubber bands that keep packets of letters together. Another is leaving the gate open so someone else's dog can shit in your front garden.) The highlight of Milo's shitting career, however, was the party lights. […]

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June 8th, 2014

Cruelty to a dumb animal:

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Obviously, the dog needs drones!

May 2nd, 2014

The next six months will be crucial…1

It's now been around six months since we introduced Molly, the new cat, to the household. We were told at the rescue centre that one of her main personality traits was an abiding hatred of all other cats, without distinction. Observing her adventures in the neighborhood, we have found this to be true.

We can add that she tolerates humans and dislikes dogs intensely, in particular our dog, Katie. Since Katie is a Jack Russell accustomed to leading the non-human hierarchy in the house and jealous of any attention paid by resident humans to other animals, this has made life interesting. In fact, our house has become the contested territory in a four legged combat that bears quite a remarkable resemblance to a classic Maoist People's War, with cat and dog as insurgent and regime respectively. […]

  1. Credit where credit's due: post title borrowed wholesale from this comment, link text from this one.

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November 17th, 2013

I'm secretly quite pleased that this animated GIF doesn't have sound.

[Via Redditt .gifs, via FFFFOUND!]

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Istanbul's strays

February 29th, 2012

Bernd Brunner on the long-standing, unstable truce between Istanbul's human population and the city's one hundred thousand stray dogs:

Although dogs formed part of a romantic cityscape, caricatures from the Ottoman period depict them as threats to be stopped, along with cholera, crime, and women in European clothing. Again and again, attempts were made to catch them and remove them from the city. In the late 19th century, Sultan Abdülaziz decreed that the dogs should be rounded up and deported to Hayirsiz, an island of barren, steep cliffs in the Marmara Sea. Sivriada, a tiny island to which Byzantine rulers once banned criminals, made headlines in 1911 when the governor of Istanbul released tens of thousands of dogs there. A yellowed postcard shows hundreds of dogs on the beach; their voices could be heard even at great distances. However, an earthquake that occurred shortly thereafter was taken as a sign of God's displeasure, and the dogs were brought back.

Interesting to contrast this story with one I linked to a couple of years ago about Moscow's stray dogs.

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August 17th, 2011

Photographs of dogs shaking their heads by Carli Davidson. Completely adorable.

[Via Subtraction]

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The Year of 'G'

July 27th, 2011

I did not know that:1

French law requires that a purebred dog or cat – that is, an animal belonging to one of the breeds listed in the Livre des origines français or the Livre officiel des origins felines – be given a name beginning with a prescribed letter of the alphabet, determined by the year of its birth, rather like the way British car registration plates used to be organised. The alphabetised system began in 1926, with Z omitted. In 1972 the Commission Nationale d'Amélioration Génétique further regularised the system, and K, Q, W, X and Y were also taken out of contention. […]

  1. #376 in an ongoing series.

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Mercy dogs

May 6th, 2011

Do you know what a "mercy dog" was? I didn't:

[In World War I…] These dogs walked among the troops on a battlefield, after the fighting had simmered down, carrying saddlebags of first-aid supplies. Wounded soldiers could call the dogs over and then help themselves whatever they needed. Those who were more gravely wounded could call the dogs over so they could embrace them and have their company while they died.

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January 23rd, 2010

A fascinating article on the lives of Moscow's stray dogs:1

Watching them over time, I realised that, despite some variation in colour – some were black, others yellowish white or russet – they all shared a certain look. They were medium-sized with thick fur, wedge-shaped heads and almond eyes. Their tails were long and their ears erect.

They also acted differently. Every so often, you would see one waiting on a metro platform. When the train pulled up, the dog would step in, scramble up to lie on a seat or sit on the floor if the carriage was crowded, and then exit a few stops later. There is even a website dedicated to the metro stray ( on which passengers post photos and video clips taken with their mobile phones, documenting the savviest of the pack using the public transport system like any other Muscovite.

[Via The Browser]

  1. NB: The Financial Times limits the number of articles a non-subscriber can view in a month. If you've visited the site in the last month, you may find yourself unable to read the linked article without registering – free of charge – as a user.

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September 14th, 2009

The biter bit.

It's the surprised expression on the dog's face that does for me every time…

[Via GromBlog]

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