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2 Vizslas, a girl, and a crazy rabbit.

Oh no, a giant swamp thing!


Steve was neutered on wednesday! He cried the entire car ride home. I felt so bad for him. He’s been feeling much better today, bouncing about and playing with his toys, despite me trying to calm down the bouncing. He only gets the cone head when he keeps trying to lick. He’s been very good about it and doesn’t mind the cone, luckily. Carly hated it and would run full speed into walls.




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This is certainly something I’ve never heard of a Vizsla doing, much less in team with a pig.

Foraging Ahead.

“AUSTRALIA’S small truffle world is littered with contrasting stories of frustration and joy.

Take Graham Duell, president of the Australian Truffle Growers Association, who puts in lots of voluntary hours for the ATGA, and who put in his inoculated trees (hazelnut and oak) at Jindivick, in West Gippsland, at the turn of the century.

Eleven long winters later, he still hasn’t found a truffle.

Then there are couples such as Mikhiala Slade and Steve Earl in the Otway Ranges on Victoria’s west coast, living the dream of life in a rural idyll: rolling green hills, babbling brook, ocean views, the smell of the bush.

Theirs is an almost accidental truffle success story.

Slade and Earl moved to their 36ha farm early last year knowing it included a trufferie, a small orchard devoted to about 200 trees with inoculated rootstock. And they knew the trufferie had produced in the past: small quantities of the subterranean fungus Tuber melanosporum, the black Perigord truffle.

But that was a bonus for this couple, who run a restaurant, La Bimba, in the nearby holiday town of Apollo Bay. And when you stroll through their Otway Harvest Truffles property, with its sea air rolling up from the beaches along the Great Ocean Road, you can see why. Their little farm is perfect: lush pastures, rainforest, olive grove and a kitchen garden for their restaurant.

Then there’s the small flock of dorper ewes (a much-valued meat breed), a huddle of 30 Welsh black cattle (ditto), a free-ranging flock of chickens and guinea fowl, and of course the working animals: Archer, a handsome Hungarian vizsla dog, and Dolores, a massive, single-minded 280kg Wessex saddleback pig.

When you have truffles in the ground, you need animals to find them, and Slade and Earl may be the only ones among Australia’s estimated 200 truffle hopefuls using a pig to sniff out treasure, the traditional technique for finding naturally occurring truffles in the forests of France and Italy. . . .

Today, an unseasonably mild morning for mid-winter Victoria, our small party – including Melbourne-based chef John Lawson, the couple’s biggest customer – makes its way from the homestead up the hill to the trufferie via a deep wallow where Dolores, four years old and still growing, celebrates the glory of mud. But pigs are smart, and this one knows she’s getting a run among the trees today, something that happens several times a week during winter, when Earl and Slade have typically found about 2.5kg of the culinary prize each week for perhaps 10 weeks. . . .

Archer pawing the earth proves to be a reliable indication of something pungent below, while Dolores snuffling the ground is not only a sure sign but a warning to get her snout out of the soil quick-smart.

“I think Dolores gets hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars worth of truffles every year,” says Earl, whose task it is to manage the creature. . . .”

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We were in the kitchen and Steve politely asked to have a treat from the fridge. We’re out of greens and cheese so there was nothing to give him. Knowing this, I snuck an envelope in while opening the door. I made a big deal out of looking for something for him, then pulled the envelope off of a shelf. He’s just as excited as he is when he gets food!

If only he knew that the envelope contained a letter approving of him getting neutered…

Look at me!


Another Vizsla news story, this one about a sweet boy who was severely abused and then almost euthanized before being rescued by a wonderful woman who has done a remarkable job bringing out his hidden Vizsla. Have a tissue handy!

Woman applies PTSD-like therapy to abused dog.

WALLA WALLA, Wash. Sometimes life gives second chances – even to dogs.

To see Louie, a 6-year-old vizsla, joyously bounding around, one would be hard pressed to know he spent the first four years of his life in terror.

His new life now revolves around Teresa Pavish-Paradiso, a licensed clinical social worker who, besides participating in a network that rescues abused animals, works in Walla Walla with veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

She said there are similarities in dealing with anxieties in humans and animals. Fear is fear. And love, patience and developing a sense of trust are elements in dealing with restlessness, nightmares and fears that something else bad is going to happen.

“He really responded to consistent love and nurturing,” she said of Louie. “He’s a blessing to everyone who knows him.”

She got Louie in November 2009. But Louie’s recovery began in July of that year with Carmen Ogg, a rescue volunteer with Best Friends of Baker in Baker City, Ore., part of the animal rescue network.

Louie had been taken to the Humane Society for biting the man who had been beating him. That particular time Louie was defending the woman and child from the abuser in the dysfunctional family’s Salem home.

Ogg knew that vizslas aren’t aggressive dogs, but Louie was scheduled to be euthanized when she intevened and pursuaded the woman to give Louie to her.

“We drove back to Baker and it was evident that he had been abused and had health issues,” Ogg said. “He had broken teeth from being kicked and fear of men since he had been abused by a man. He had trust issues, but he knew when I put him into the car that he was going to be safe.”

She learned the people who owned him were in a bad marriage full of frustration and abuse. The man took his anger out on the puppy, beating him and confining him in their small condo, Ogg said. Both Louie’s physical and emotional health needed attention.

“He had a solid four years of abuse,” Pavish-Paradiso said. “As a puppy, he’d be sleeping in his little bed and the guy would pick him up and throw him against the wall. He was in horrific pain and very thin.”

The first task for Pavish-Paradiso was to bond with Louie, who comes from an energetic Hungarian breed of dogs known for their upland game, rabbit and waterfowl hunting skills.

“He was afraid of the big backyard,” she said. “It really helped him to find a place to run. We go out to Bennington Lake. With the fun of running, we were able to really bond.”

The next step was to work on Louie’s social skills. “He was afraid of everybody. I took him with me out to L&G Ranch Supply. Those people are so wonderful, they talked to him and gave him treats.”

Because his abuser was a man, Louie was more comfortable with the women at first. But as time went by he gained trust of men at the store, realizing they wouldn’t hurt him. She also took him to Home Depot and he was treated kindly there, too.

Louie gradually began to have more trust for his new life in general. Last March he did his first play bow, a common dog gesture to indicate it’s time for fun and frolic.

He was sick in May and spent a lot of time at the clinic, where he befriended everyone.

“Now he can’t wait to go to the vet,” she laughed. “He got a second chance because people were willing to help.”

His road to get to a place of peace was long .

“The first year he had nightmares and he would cry in his sleep. He was restless. If I got up at night I would speak his name to reassure him. Now he sleeps like a log, deep quality sleep.”

Rescuing an abused animal is hard work, she said, but “they turn your life around. I have so much fun. I come home after working with people with trauma issues. Then Louie and I go for a run. It’s so fulfilling to be his companion.”

Nowadays Pavish-Paradiso and Louie often visit the neighbors. In a house full of people, he bursts through the door as if to say, “I’m here!” she said.

“He didn’t let the pain of what happened stop him from having a life,” she said. “He’s made such a difference in my life. I respect him for giving us humans a second chance.”



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Does anyone else pay attention to their Recommended page on Amazon? It’s generated by what you purchase through amazon, what you review and/or rate, what’s on your wish list, and what you click as “I already own.” Usually when I’m getting a new book, I spend too much time researching the different options on the subject, so I rarely get suggestions for books I don’t already know about. I do occasionally get some good ones, though. And then there’s the rest of them! I love seeing what they think I’d like and why it’s suggested.

Before Disenchantment: Images of Exotic Animals in the Early Modern World somehow led to  The Image of the Black in Western Art

-An anthology of boxing stories was recommended, because I own a book about whales.

-Owning The Song of the Dodo, a book about the modern extinctions of island species, was the “why” for a book about identifying species of fish in Indiana.

-Don’t let amazon know you have any interest in The Whole Dog Journal, unless you want to be recommended every single dog, cat, and healthy living type magazine out there.

-I have a few books about how the ocean is being ruined, so I’d probably love to read a book about how to be a commercial fisherman.

-Along the same path, In Defense of Food because I own The Empty Ocean

-One that seemed good until I clicked on the link to read the summary: It’s a Dog’s Life… but it’s Your Carpet: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Your 4-Legged Friend. According to the description, it “answers all the questions you’ve always wanted to ask about your dog,” including:

  • Can a Chihuahua and a Great Dane mate?
  • Why do dogs eat their own poop?
  • What’s the smartest breed?
  • Can I get my dog’s ears pierced?
  • Why does my dog roll around in rotting feces?
  • If I mix food coloring with Fluffy’s kibble, will it make her poop easier to find in the yard?
Some of those I guess I can see someone completely new to dogs asking, like the eating poop question. But pierced ears? Color coding dog shit? Really? Even if they were included as “joke” questions, including them in the short product description makes the book seem incredibly childish. They’re also a waste of space. There’s so many things people really want to know about dogs that they might not find the answer to, why fluff up the book? The reviews indicate most of the questions are of this nature, mentioning other topics like:
  • Can dogs chew gum to freshen their breath?
  • Is it my boyfriend or Skippy farting, and can I give him Beano?
  • Can I use invisible fencing for my human pets (i.e. the kids)?
  • Do I need deodorant for my dog?
  • Is my dog’s pacemaker from a deceased human?
  • Should I dump my boyfriend because he doesn’t like my dog?
These, and most all of the questions, seem like things a 5 year old would ask. Yet the comments indicate there’s quite a bit of adults-only humor within it. Unsurprisingly, I completely disagree with the answers to the more serious questions that I’ve read. Books like these only encourage ignorant dog owners.
On that note! Some good books I found thanks to Amazon Recommends:
Don’t Leave Me! Step-by-Step Help for Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety. Patricia McConnell’s book on the topic is a waste of money, but this one actually seems worth the purchase. It’s much longer and, using the preview function, has a bunch of information and training solutions that you won’t see by doing a quick google search (unlike McConnell’s). Steve used to have terrible anxiety and I’m worried about it coming back when Carly passes, so this is definitely on my wish list.
 Last Dog on the Hill. I tend to skip over the many dog biographies that are available, especially the influx of ones since Marly & Me. I’ve seen this in stores but always skipped over it. I wish I hadn’t! Lou, the Last Dog, was a sickly feral pup born on a secret marijuana farm. After being rescued, “Lou won the respect of gang members, foiled an armed robbery, caught a rapist, fought coyotes and kidnappers, comforted elderly war veterans and Alzheimer patients in their final days, taught ASL to kids, learned scores of unique behaviors and tricks, amassed a vocabulary of nearly 200 words, helped rehabilitate hundreds of aggressive dogs and saved them from euthanasia.” Much more than a typical dog memoir!
 Red Panda: Biology and Conservation of the First Panda. An in-depth look at every thing relating to the species. I’m a big fan of books like this about mammals, although unfortunately they’re usually out of my price range!
 Picturing the Beast: Animals, Identity, and Representation. How animals become icons and symbols, such as the Republican elephant and the word “jackass,” and how those symbols then change our video of those species.

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There’s a large lump inside her right upper lip. It’s bigger than a silver dollar and takes up most of lip, as it also protrudes quite a bit. Her vet is currently out of town but we’re going to the vet first thing in the morning to have it looked at.

Good morning, Carly Marie.

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I was up in Wilmington yesterday and stopped in Petco to get some things for future-puppy and for the Vizslas.

Steve got a Planet Petco toy, on sale for $3 (from $13), that looks similar to this one, except the head has one rope coming from it, then a body with six squeakers and 4 paws that each have a squeaker, followed by another rope that’s about 10″ long. He isn’t too crazy about it – his current favorites are all tiny, happy meal sized toys – but some tossing and squeaking has taken place. He was just tossing it around while holding the head and smacked himself with the rope tail. He can’t figure out who the hell just touched him, where they went, and how they got away so fast. Silly Steven!!

His current favorite is this little 2 1/2″ pig, a Zanies Lil Barnyard Baby, picked up at Paws in Annapolis:

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