Archive for the ‘Dogs’ Category

Meet Lily!

posted by Karen Jean Matsko Hood
Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Great news! We just received a new member to our household on February 6th. Her name is Lily and she is a Newfoundland Landseer with black and white markings. She is 8 weeks old and such a cutie and so sweet.  At 6 weeks she was 14 pounds, and upon arrival here she weighed in at 21 pounds on our scale. She’s growing fast!

I have wanted a Newfoundland ever since I read about Lewis and Clark as a girl growing up in Montana. They had wonderful stories about their Newfoundland, Seaman, who accompanied them on their travels across the country. Seaman was invaluable to them on their journey, and Lewis mentions several times in his journals that this loyal dog was able to scare off some buffalo and even a bear, saving the explorers from dangerous situations.

Newfoundlands are an ancient, hearty breed of working dog with a long and proud history. Vikings who visited Newfoundland Island in 1000 AD wrote about seeing strong water dogs  working with the native people. Today’s Newfoundlands are descended from these dogs and the mastiffs that were brought to the island in the 16th century by Portuguese fishermen. The Newfoundlands were used to haul fishing nets and retrieve objects or people who fell into the water.

A typical Newfoundland weighs between 100-150 lbs, and some have been known to exceed 200 lbs. The largest Newfoundland on record was 260 lbs and measured 6 ft long from nose to tail. They are powerful animals uniquely designed for swimming in rough ocean waters. Their oily double coat is thick and waterproof, keeping them warm and dry for hours in cold northern seas. They have webbed feet that enable them to swim with a powerful breast stroke, rather than the dog paddle used by other breeds, and their large lung capacity gives them the ability to swim great distances through strong currents and choppy waves. There are many instances in which Newfoundlands have saved people from drowning, and these are fascinating and inspiring stories. One Newfoundland saved 60 shipwrecked sailors alone, and another is believed to have rescued Napoleon when he fell overboard during his escape from the island of Elba.

Today, Newfoundlands are known as gentle giants, a beloved breed of calm, loyal dogs that are equally good as caretakers and watchdogs. They are caring by nature, and are exceptionally well-behaved and nurturing around children and other animals. Easily trainable, devoted, and hardworking, the Newfoundland remains a popular pet to this day.

Collecting Dog Memorabilia

posted by Karen Hood
Thursday, June 11, 2009

Dog lovers are avid collectors of anything that deals with dogs. Antiques, paintings, bronzes, crystals, books, post cards, stamps, toys anything and everything that depicts the dog – are all prime collectibles. The items can be old, used, reproductions, or new oftentimes only the availability, subject and size of the bank balance are the determining factors.

1. Collect only what is truly desired. As with anyone seeking to create, develop or maintain a collection, an item of purchase must be something that is liked for itself, not just because it is your breed, nor for its potential as an investment piece or as a compromise because something else was not affordable and/or available. If you do not like something when you buy it, that dislike will probably just grow rather than diminish over time.

2. Collect only the breeds or groups that you are interested in. There is a lot of dog-related material available. In order to fine-tune your interests, stay with those breeds you really like; or

3. Collect specific artists regardless of the breeds involved. If you like the way a particular artist portrays dogs, then expand your collection by seeking out other works of art by the same artist. Beware, however, that you will not necessarily admire all of the works done by that artist.

4. Be prepared to be patient as good dog art work is not always available.

5. Take time to look for pieces something you may like could be far away or as close as your neighborhood antique store. In either case, casual perusing in stores, catalogs, auction listings, dog show booths – all can yield something that needs further investigation.

6. Seek out the best quality you can find. A few superior items makes for a better collection that a lot of inferior ones.

7. Collect what you can afford. Do not over spend. Be aware of price and condition. Know what you are buying before you make the purchase.

8. Learn as much as you can about the particular medium you are interested in collecting. Read reference materials, study your likes and dislikes, and fine-tune your eye.

9. Do not be afraid of selling earlier items you collected if your collection ideas have changed and your eye has drawn you to another style. If you do not want or like a particular piece anymore, then sell it.

10. Also sell if you have more items than you have room to properly display or store. This is especially true if you continue to be an avid buyer.

Collecting anything in the dog-related genre is fun. It is also a natural extension of your love of the dog. As you love being around your dog, you also enjoy being around objects reminding you of that dog. This is one reason why dog lovers are such inquisitive and acquisitive collectors.

by Sari B. Tietjen