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Dogs protecting sheep from predators testy toward hikers

HIKING — The large guard dogs such as great Pyrenees and Akbash that pro-wolf groups recommend for guarding livestock from predators such as cougars, bears and wolves don't necessarily distinguish between 4-legged and 2-legged critters passing through public lands:

Guard dogs for sheep herds continue to be a problem for hikers in Colorado
Hikers are reporting more conflicts with the large, white Akbash dogs that guard sheep herds in San Juan County, and one hiker recently asked the Colorado county's commission to work with the multiple federal and state land agencies and the ranchers with grazing allotments to develop new policies to help keep the hikers and the dogs apart.

Video: Walking the dog is always a rich experience

HIKING — Here's a dog that knows how to walk a boy.

Poster reminds dog owners to bag it

PUBLIC LANDS — Looks like Spokane isn't the only city in the USA where people think it's OK to let their dogs leave calling cards wherever the urge strikes.

Clinic prepares dogs for rattlesnake encounters

HUNTING – A rattlesnake aversion clinic for dogs, using live adult and juvenile snakes, put on by Natural Solutions of California is set for June 27 in Lewiston. Cost: $70.

Pre-register to schedule individual time slot: (208) 413-3032 or email shellyd181@gmail.com.

Pope Francis: raise kids not cats and dogs

Milo keeps watch.

Pope Francis had a message for married couples on Monday: four-legged friends don’t offer the same opportunities for love and godliness as raising a child.

The Pope addressed a group of 15 couples that have been married between 25 and 60 years during daily Mass on Monday, held in the chapel of the Santa Maria residence in the Vatican. The Pope stressed the importance of three qualities in a successful Christian marriage — faithfulness, perseverance and fruitfulness — during his remarks, according to Vatican Radio.

But the Pope also counseled childless couples to be fruitful and multiply, and not spend time raising pets when they could be raising children. Full story. TIME

But it's okay to have kids AND cats, right? What do you think of the Pope's remarks?

Dog people, cat people really are different

Thor sleeps.

(Newser) – “Dog people” and “cat people” may both fall into the animal lover category, but they're not exactly cut from the same cloth, a new study finds. Carroll University researcher Denise Guastello and her team surveyed 600 college students and found cat lovers to be more open-minded, sensitive, and non-conformist than the dog-fancying majority, which, besides being more outgoing, was more inclined to follow rules. Perhaps the most contentious finding of those presented on Saturday: Cat lovers emerged as more intelligent, LiveScience reports, without elaboration. Full story.

Of course, this comes as no surprise to me. How about you?

Artist Memorializes Beloved Dogs

As a form of therapy following a stroke, Spokane artist Pat Adams has oil-painted scenics and portraits of family members at her kitchen table for more than 30 years. But after the death of her beloved dog Sage, Adams took her painting in a new direction. (SR photo: Colin Mulvany)

They say all dogs go to heaven. In  the Inland Northwest, the most special of our canine companions also make it to Pat Adams’ canvas. Adams is a Spokane painter with a giving heart who memorializes cherished dogs on canvas, capturing their big eyes, perked ears and slobbery grins to bring comfort and peace to grieving pet owners. She also paints the occasional cat, bird and most recently a pet turtle. “This one is for my vet’s father,” Adams said one April morning while using a small brush to outline a handsome tan dog face on a black canvas. She dipped the brush in a dark chestnut paint to draw the tip of the floppy ear/Erica Curless, SR. More here.

Question: Do you think pets go to heaven?

Photo: Labrador retriever, or a beaver?

DOGS — It's not hunting season and there are no tennis balls around so…

Teri Pieper of Twisp has an endless source of entertainment in this Lab.  

Next:  The entire tree!

Bird dog club invites public to training day

HUNTING — The Spokane Bird Dog Association is inviting hunters to bring their dogs to a training day, which includes expert help for all breeds, starting Saturday at 8 a.m., at the Espanola training grounds managed by the club west of Medical Lake. 

This session will be geared more to pointers, but retrievers are welcome. Pointers and retrievers will be split into separate groups.

The public is invited to bring hunting dogs of any age or level of training. Cost: $5.

Unleashed dogs pose threat to winter-weary wildlife

WILDLIFE WATCHING — Deer and elk will need another few months to regain their strength from the rigors of surviving the winter, and they don't need any setbacks from loose-running dogs.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is reminding pet owners that dogs must be on a leash in Idaho wildlife management areas.   

A recent check found 80 percent of visitors to the 53-square-mile Boise River Wildlife Management Area violate a 4-year-old law requiring dogs to be on leashes while in the state's wildlife management areas.  
 
Agency spokeswoman Krista Mueller says now is a critical time for mule deer, elk, pronghorn and their young to survive to the end of the winter and early spring.  
 
She says wildlife forced to move out of the area because of roaming pets use up fat reserves needed to get them through the next several weeks.
 
  • Shed hunters also pose a threat of disturbance to deer still on their winter ranges.

Dog that survived wolf attack mauled by cougar

PREDATORS — You may remember the story about Shelby, the dog that went with its owner to a committee hearing at the Washington Legislature last year (above) all scarred up after being attacked by a wolf as it slept on the porch of its Twisp-area home.

This week, Shelby is back in the news after being attacked again in its yard — this time by a mountain lion.

It's just the latest in this winter's spree of confrontations involving mountain lions in the Methow Valley.

Read on for the Wenatchee World story about Shelby that's been moved by the Associated Press.

Video: how to release pet dog from trap

WILDLIFE —  A new instructional video – Releasing your Dog from a Trap - is available on Idaho Fish and Game’s website and YouTube.

The video doesn't come a day too soon, as several dogs in North Idaho already have been caught in traps intended for critters such as beavers and wolves.

Intended to aid dog owners, the video shows and explains the variety of traps and snares you may encounter, as well as methods and simple tools you may need to safely release your dog should it get caught.  The IFG biologist introducing the video explains that even wildlife researchers use traps as part of their work to study wildlife.  

Here's the explanation from IFG:

Fish and Game does not know exactly how many dogs were caught in traps each year and not reported.  However, trapper harvest reports have identified an increasing trend in incidental dog catches – from two in 2000 to 32 in 2013.  Two dogs were also reported killed in body grip traps this year. 

These increasing trends and recent incidents, coupled with a heightened concern voiced by dog owners, prompted Fish and Game to develop this instructional video.

Kennel clubs, gun dog and sportsmen groups, neighborhood associations and dog training clubs are encouraged to post the video on their websites.

Fish and Game has also developed working groups throughout the state, comprised of members of the public and trappers, to help identify ways to reduce the incidental capture of dogs in traps. If you have any questions, please contact your local Fish and Game office.

Roosevelt Lake shore ideal for winter hikes with dogs

HIKING — Hikers looking for a long winter walk where they can let their dog romp a bit might consider the shores of Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area that are away from houses and buildings.

Be smart: If there's anyone around — anglers, walkers or anyone else — use a leash.

Snow rarely lingers long on the Roosevelt shoreline after a storm, and the water level is low from winter through early spring leaving a large beach area for roaming.

Local hiker Karen Jurasin snapped the photo above of her dog, Scout, during a romp on the shore line at the Hawk Creek area northwest of Davenport (page 315 in 100 Hikes of the Inland Northwest).

Some wives are partners in hunters’ financial woes

HUNTING — I'm getting few messages from wives of hunters after they read my outdoors column today, “Hunters need financial planning to cover expenses.”

They're pointing out that more and more women are going hunting, too. In fact, a survey last year found that about 11 percent of the hunting licenses sold across the country were sold to women.  Cool.

But the women giving me a buzz today are chuckling with me.

“Thanks for reminding me how much money we put into hunting this year,” said Robin, who says she hunts big game with and without her husband. “Problem is, I spent most of it.”

Dogs leaving their mark on Mount Spokane

WINTER SPORTS — The trend toward more dogs, linked to the growing popularity of snowshoeing, is getting easier to track at Mount Spokane State Park.

And sometimes you might track it into your car.

Snowshoer Warren D. Walker posted several photos of dog poop he observed while hiking the mountain on Monday, noting that there are plenty of similar photo opps and the trend is dramatic and disgusting.  

Part of the problem is people who violate the state park leash law while others neglect to bring bags to clean up after their pets. Says Walker:

It is a STATE PARK - not a DOG PARK:
Pictures from today - even one at the top of Mt Kit Carson.
I understand your love of animals - but it can not be that hard to pick up after your dog. We are in a State Park - a public place and on a trail used by many - so out of respect and courtesy for others using the trail please pick up after your dog.
Having a dog inside the State Park is a privilege - not a right.

Tough hunting for Snake Canyon chukars

HUNTING — Eastern Washington's pheasant season ended Sunday in a weekend of winds gusting to 70 mph at the top of the 49 Degrees North ski area where they toppled a cell phone tower. 

I figured I had a better shot at chukars in the Snake River canyon where I could loop into bowls out of the wind.  

Indeed, I found some pleasant hunting interspersed with high-wind exposure as I hiked around basalt bands on the ridges.

But I was surprised that in 4.5 hours of covering a lot of ground, my English setter, Scout,  found only two coveys of chukars. The dog locked up solid 80 yards away from the first cover as the strong winds telegraphed their scent to his nose. But the covey flushed wild as I approached, caught the wind, and appeared to be setting wings for a wind-assisted flight to Montana.

The other covey cooperated in making my hunt successful.

But that was it.  I covered some great private land where I've hunted with permission numerous times and never have found fewer than three coveys. 

So now I'm wondering: Should I have been hunting the highest slopes that were open to the high winds?  Is that where the chukars were hanging out?

The hunting season for partridge and quail runs through Jan. 20.

Eagle Cap Extreme puts sled dogs to test

WINTER SPORTS — It's the only Iditarod and Yukon Quest sled dog race qualifier in the lower 48 that takes place west of the Rocky Mountains — and it's virtually in our backyard.

The 10th annual running of the Eagle Cap Extreme sled dog race is Jan. 22-25 in northeast Oregon’s Wallowa County.

Not to be missed, especially if you're bringing kids, is the Jan. 22 pre-race veterinary checks in Enterprise and Joseph that gather all of the sled dogs for public viewing — and in some cases, petting. Sled dogs are amazingly fit, happy and eager to perform.

The Eagle Cap Extreme is hailed by mushers as one of the most challenging and best-run mushing events in the lower 48 states.  The ECX is one of only six qualifying races in the U.S. outside of Alaska.  The race provides a unique opportunity for dog lovers and mushing fans to witness premier canine athletes race through this most rugged and beautiful corner of Oregon.

The event includes three races: 

  • A 12-dog, 200-mile race, which is the Iditarod and Yukon Quest qualifier. (The Iditarod and YQ each cover more than 1,000 miles.)
  • An 8-dog, 100-mile race.
  • A 6-dog, 62-mile “pot race”, which consists of two 31-mile stages held on consecutive days.

All three races begin at Ferguson Ridge ski hill at 1 P.M. on Thursday, Jan. 23.  Pot race finishers return to Fergi later that afternoon, and again on Friday; 100-mile finishers arrive early-mid morning on Friday, Jan. 24; 200-mile finishers arrive early on Saturday the 25th.  The ECX culminates in the mushers' banquet that evening, held in Joseph.

All events except the mushers’ banquet are free to the public. 

Bird dog makes point on figure of speech

HUNTING — While hunting pheasants on Sunday, this is how my English setter, Scout, defined the idiom, “Got 'em dead to rights.”

Adventurer kills, eats faithful dog in 2-month survival epic

ADVENTURE — Here's a Canadian survival story with an unusual twist that has some animal lovers saying a desperate man made a heartless decision.  

But doctors treating Marco Lavoie after his rescue in the wilderness of northern Quebec say he may not have survived his four-month ordeal had he not killed and eaten his dog.

Some fascinating points to the story:

  • Lavoie, 44, was close to death when a rescue crew found him last week.
  • His canoe and vital supplies were destroyed by a bear at the start of a planned two-month trip in August.
  • Lavoie's German Shepherd may have saved Lavoei's life by chasing away the bear in the initial attack.
  • But three days later, facing the possibility of starvation Lavoie, killed his doting companion with a rock.
  • The first words Lavoie reported spoke to medical staff: 'I want to get a new dog.'

Lavoie had lost 90 pounds and was suffering from hypothermia when rescuers found him Wednesday. News reports from Monday indicated he was still in critical condition.

Could you kill your faithful canine companion if you thought it would be the difference between your life and death?

Salmon poisoning: Dog’s fishing trip ends with trip to veterinarian

FISHING — John and Gail Palumbo of Spokane have taken their dogs with them on salmon fishing trips to the Columbia for years, the the odds for their dogs contracting “salmon poisoning” caught up to them this week.

Writes Gail:

Want to thank you for the article on 9/29/13 about Salmon Poisoning in dogs. Fankly we had never heard of it. We go salmon fishing every year below the Priest Rapids dam. (I call it “Camping at the Rock.”) We have been going there for years and taking our dogs with.

We have two new young dogs this year and it was a first for both of them to come along.
We read your article and tried to keep the dogs away from the carcasses left on the beach when we were ashore.

Long story short: one of our young dogs (9 mos.) is at the vet now with Salmon Poisoning. We did not put 2 and 2 together about his symptoms until he was quite ill and took him into the vet. After blood tests they confirmed it.
 
We thought this would never happen to us.  All the years going fishing here and taking dogs and everyone else taking dogs, no dogs had ever gotten sick nor even heard of this poisoning.

Family seeks shorthair pointer lost near Medical Lake

HUNTING DOGS — Even if the pheasant hunting season weren't days away, Jack Dolan and his wife would be sick that their six-month old German shorthair pointer has gone missing.

The dog ran off after it was lightly struck by a vehicle late Sunday afternoon just west of Medical Lake and the Veteran's Cemetery near the Dolan's driveway at Hallet and Espanola roads

The dog's name is Chip. His collar was broken off by the impact. He panicked and ran across a field and out of sight.   Although there's no collar on him now, he has been micro-chipped and can be identified by a veterinarian.

The family points out that Chip could have covered a lot of ground, so they're posting signs in Reardan, Airway Heights and around the region.

If anyone sees, finds or hears anything that could lead to this dog, please call Dolan at (509) 389-8481.

Dolan, 72, was featured this summer in an S-R story about the extraordinary hunter education course he's been teaching as a volunteer leader for 26 years.  This dog, shown in the photo above, is his prized possession.

City projects could affect access to South Hill bluffs

TRAILS — The City of Spokane's plans to “remodel” High Drive in 2014 while updating sewer lines could change bike lanes and reduce parking options for the popular South Hill bluff trails.

Traffic flow, pedestrian walkways, and bike lanes will also be affected, according to the Friends of the Bluff.

A neighborhood meeting on set for 7 p.m.-9 p.m. on Tuesday (Oct. 8) at he new Jefferson Elementary School Multi-Purpose Room, 123 E. 37th Ave.
 
This might be the public's best chance to see the initial plans and provide constructive input, the Friends group says.
 
 

Field report: Clark Fork back in action for anglers

FLY FISHING — My friend David Moershel and I drove over Lookout Pass on Thursday, dodged lightning storms and endured weather ranging from cool to hot over two days to check out Montana's Clark Fork River a week after fishing restrictions were lifted after weeks of water too warm for the health of the trout.

The verdict:  The Clark Fork is back in action, when it's not being cruel.

The three photos with this post (click continue reading) show the thick 14- to 16-inch cutthroat, rainbow and cuttbow I caught on dry flies and nymphs in a two-hour period on Friday morning.  They were among five other fish I caught including a whitefish in three hours of walkng and wading.

Not bad for a guy who casts like a zombie and was trying to train his English setter to stay on a rock and NOT retrieve the fish as they were reeled in.

But while we had periods of good fishing, we also had stretches when we couldn't buy a trout.  On Thursday evening we drove to several spots that have been good to us in the past and we couldn't find a rising fish.

The moral: When it's hot, it's hot; when it's not, it's not.

Give bird dog attention before the hunt

HUNTING — My Outdoors column today bags some tips from pro trainer Dan Hoke of Dunfur Kennel for easing bird dogs into the seasons safely and efficiently.

Many hunters get all excited about opening days — forest grouse and mourning doves open Sunday.

But the best and safest hunting for a bird dog is later in the seasons, when the field is cooler, damper and there's been more opportunity to get in tip-top shape after the dog days of summer.

Just wondering

Have you ever, as a child or adult, had a dog named Lady?

http://arkanimalcentre.wordpress.com

Montana tests dogs for deterring wolves, bears from livestock

PREDATORS — Defending livestock from wolves and grizzly bears appears to be going to the dogs in Montana.

Study in Montana tests effectiveness of dogs to deter wolves, grizzlies
The National Wildlife Research Center, the research arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services in Utah, has provided $80,000 to study the use of different breeds of dogs to keep wolves and grizzly bears away from livestock in Montana, including Kangals, a long-legged Turkish breed.

—Great Falls Tribune

Higher calling: hunter strives to follow dog’s example

HUNTING — I marvel at my English setter, and all the various faithful breeds preferred by my friends.  Here's one angle on why.

If you can…

  • Start the day without caffeine.
  • Always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains.
  • Resist complaining and boring people with your troubles.
  • Eat the same food every day and be grateful for it.
  • Understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time
  • Overlook it when those you love take it out on you when through no fault of yours, something goes wrong.
  • Take criticism and blame without resentment.
  • Ignore a friend’s limited education and never correct him/her.
  • Resist treating a rich friend better than a poor friend
  • Face the world without lies and deceit.
  • Conquer tension without medical help.
  • Relax without liquor.
  • Sleep without the aid of drugs.
  • Honestly say deep in your heart that you have no prejudice against creed, color, religion or politics.

….Then, you are ALMOST as good as your dog.

High alert for bird dog owners: Cheatgrass in full bloom

HUNTING DOGS — The national plant of veterinarians across the West is in full bloom.

Cheatgrass that was only a spotty problem two weeks ago has been cured by the recent heat wave and I can tell you from personal experience that it's at full capacity to inflict harm on your dog's ears, toes, nose and other body parts.

I'm plugging my dogs' ears with cotton for even the shortest romp, and checking them thoroughly afterward, especially between the toes.

I'll be suspending most field dog training and doing most of my dog's physical conditioning by taking him hiking in the mountains and throwing retrieving dummies into lakes.

The extreme danger to dogs will continue until some point in August when wind and pounding thunderstorms drive most of the seed spears to the ground.

While dog owners are at Hoopfest

Their pets just might get together and decide to run amok. “Hey, check it out — we're all service dogs.” 

www.thebaraza.wordpress.com

CPD: No Dogs Allowed In City Parks

Coeur d’Alene is the host to numerous outdoor events during the summer months. Many of the planned activities take place in the city parks. Every year animal control officers deal with complaints of citizens bringing their dogs to the parks. Citizens are reminded that dogs are not allowed in any City Parks with the exception of Tubbs Hill. Allowances have been made for users of the Centennial Trail in which dogs are allowed on the concrete portion of the Coeur d’Alene City Park. Softball, Baseball, and Soccer fields are not an exception. Owners are not allowed to bring their dogs to the playing fields. Residents who live in the area of City parks are not allowed to let their dogs use the park as an area for excrement. The 4th of July celebration in the park brings about the largest number of complaints/Sgt. Christie Wood, Coeur d'Alene Police Department. More here.

Question: I would like to see dogs outlawed from major community events, like the Art on the Green, Car d'Lene and the 4th of July Parade. How about you?