"The Peeing Post"
Newsletter for dog lovers who respect the dog's nature
Chief Editor: Mogens Eliasen
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Thank you for your subscription to "The Peeing Post". The issue you are receiving here is special one - just to introduce you to what is coming. After this, you will receive another dozen issues that will introduce you to some of the resources I can make available for you in order to help you have more fun with your dog. These introduction issues are meant to "bring you up to speed" with all the other Peeing Post subscribers. They should also answer a lot of questions for you about your dog - and they should help you identify the questions you still need to ask, so you can ask them! The introduction issues were prepared some time ago and will be sent by my assistant with a few days intervals over about three months. (You recognize them by the lack of date in the subject line when you receive them.)
On top of this, you will receive the regular "real time" issues as they are published. There will be no set schedule, as regular deadlines do not have much positive effect on the quality of the contents, but I generally try to get at least one issue made per month, often two or three... (You recognize the "real time" issues by them having a date in the subject line.)
I should introduce myself: I am Mogens Eliasen (pronounced MOW-ence e-LEE-a-sen for people who speak English and not Danish. Yes, I am born and raised in Denmark, the oldest of all still existing independent nations - home of the Vikings and inventor of the Ombudsman.) I live in Canada now and am Canadian citizen. Click on the picture to see my resume if you want.
Oh yes, I am the chief editor of this newsletter. This basically means that I am the one that decides what to send out and what not. I do value contributions from the readers, so if you have any comments or suggestions, or questions, or ideas you would like to share with the other subscribers, please give me a chance to take a look at it. (Forget it though, if you want to remain anonymous...).
A few critical technicalities:
I should actually also tell you that I get a lot of bogus subscribers from spammers who collect e-mail addresses from web sites, including K9joy's. Once in a while, I simply have to delete all those fake subscriptions that fill my mailbox with spam every time I send out an issue of The Peeing Post. I recognize them on the lack of a proper name in the mailing list - those robots subscribe themselves without giving the autoresponder a proper name. So, when I clean my mailing list, I simply delete all subscriptions that do not have a proper first name and last name attached to them.
However, if you did not set up your e-mail client in such a way that it displays your name on outgoing e-mails and you subscribed through e-mail and not from the web site, or you made an error when signing up, you will see the green text under the picture of the peeing post above display something I cannot recognize as your name. If that is the case, I urge you to go to http://k9joy.com/peeingpost and sign up once more - because your current subscription will be deleted at my next clean-up and you will get no warning...
Also, if at any point in time you should feel tempted to install some kind of spam guard or other e-mail filter to reduce the amount of spam you get, then you will have to make sure that you exempt the e-mail address for The Peeing Post to get caught in that filter, because I cannot do that for you! Technically, The Peeing Post is sent from my server in such a way that it will be perceived as spam by many of those filters: I cannot send any confirmation from my private e-mail address to prove the opposite, and I cannot send out issue another issue to all the subscribers every single time one subscriber wants to install a spam filter. So, if you do not set your spam filter to accept mail from email@example.com, you will effectively stop The Peeing Post from coming to your mailbox. With some programs, you will not even be notified - and there is nothing I can do about it.
Finally, if you subscribe with a mailing address that has other limitations that will cause The Peeing Post to bounce, you will be automatically unsubscribed second time my server gets the message "undeliverable" from your server.
My main reason for publishing this newsletter is that I hope your dog will benefit from what I possibly could help you understand in regards to dealing with your lovely, domesticated wolf on some terms it can make sense out of - and not just as a "pet".... I am sorry, but I have some trouble with the North American standard way of treating dogs. Like miniature humans, or live dolls. They deserve far better than that! I do acknowledge, though, that many people do it out of sheer love - they don't know that they are not doing the best they could for the animal. How could they know? There is almost nobody to tell them! So, this makes me "almost nobody"... J
"But modern dogs are not wolves anymore!" Sorry, if you think that, there is a lot of science to prove you quite wrong. In 1996, for instance, a study was done of the genes of different breeds of dogs. The results were compared to the genes of wild wolves. There was no math known to any scientist that could explain away the fact that the differences among the dog genes were greater from breed to breed than the difference between the wolf genes and any breed of dog! Now, the wolf was distinctively different in some ways from all the dog breeds - but the differences were of the same order of magnitude as the genetic differences between black and white people.
Another amazing fact: there are no behaviors know in modern dogs that cannot be found also in wolves. The wolf has some very specific behaviors that dogs don't always show anymore - but that is a normal domestication phenomenon that does not take more than a few generations to produce.
And more: no veterinarian or scientist can tell on the internal organs of dogs and wolves which is dog and which is wolf...
There are some very important conclusions to draw from this:
Almost everything that relates to behavior is still there - that means: social instincts and hunting instincts are not changed! All dog behaviors are found also in wolves - but some wolf behaviors are now extinct in dogs. Konrad Lorenz, the famous Austrian founder of Ethology as a science (observation, description, and studying of behavior) suggested already back in 1948 that the analogies between wolf behavior and dog behavior were so profound (in contrast to the far fewer analogies between dogs and jackals or other members of the canine family) that the only reasonable explanation would be that dogs originated from the wolf, and not from any other canines. It took till 1996 before high-resolution DNA studies could confirm that he was right.
Everything that relates to physiology and metabolism (all the chemistry inside the body) is also unchanged. The gastrointestinal system is intact in our modern dogs as it was in the wolf (and still is). The need for food and the nature of the nutritional needs are unchanged. The potential for diseases and their nature remain the same.
So, no matter what kind of physical "clothing" your dog has externally - inside, it is still chemically a wolf.
Yes, it is incredible that dogs can modify their exterior that much! No other domesticated animal has done that: cats are pretty much cats - the variations are very small compared to those of dogs. Horses are horses - except for the difference between an Arabian and a Morgan that only a "horse person" can tell.
But as long as we realize that it is only size and shape and coat that has chanced, we can cope with reality. And the really good news is that wolves are animals that have many human qualities - and many qualities I wish humans could learn from... they are very social and very caring for each other. Talk about family values - and we can learn it all from the wolf!
The old stories about wolves being vicious are lies. All of them. In entire history of man, there are no proven records of wolves having attacked people, except when they have been kept in captivity! The hate has been deliberately developed by farmers who did not like the wolves as their competitors. It was OK for the farmers to destroy the wolves' habitat and make pastures out of the forests that were home to the wolves' prey animals. But is was not OK for the wolves to assume that the farmers were willing to replace the food they destroyed for them....
I know, it is hard to reverse history. Modern farmers are not the ones that did this. But they are the ones that might pay the price when naturalists try to reverse things. I feel for them, but I admit, my sympathy is completely with the wolves...
I hope this can make you feel a bit better about accepting the status of your dog as "domesticated wolf". It's an honor, not a curse.
Having said this, I also have to warn you: don't even think about getting "the real thing" and trying to make a wolf a family pet.... The problem is not that they still are vicious (because they are certainly not!), but there are two main problems that makes wolves and wolf hybrids very, very bad choices for pets:
Wolves are extremely shy - that's why they still survive. Everything and anything will spook the living daylights out of them thus keeping them away from danger (most of it man-made...). Dealing with that in our modern society becomes a constant cruelty to the animal. It has taken thousands of years to breed that fundamental fear out of our modern dogs. There is no way you can do it in just a few generations yourself.
Wolves are extremely active - they need to roam. Not just a backyard, but the entire city and its 10 neighbor cities and all land in between... Modern dogs don't need that anymore - the get fed by us. But try to confine a wolf - and you create exactly that frustrated, desperate, and furious animal that becomes even more dangerous than its worst reputation...
This will be it for now. If I scared you, then please unsubscribe by following the instructions below. If you feel this kind of attitude of mine could possibly benefit your dog, then hang on! If you have any comments or questions, you are, in principle, welcome to simply reply to this e-mail (as well as to any future issues). Although it is sent by a machine, this machine also passes on to me all responses you send it, so I can answer you. However, I do get hundreds of spam messages daily on that e-mail address, so there is a serious risk that your e-mail gets deleted by mistake, and, at some point in the near future, I will have all e-mails sent to that address automatically deleted....
To be sure that your message will indeed reach me, please click on the picture of the peeing dog below. It will lead you to a form you can use for your message. This form uses a hidden e-mail address that is not visible to spammers, so I am sure to get your message without deleting it by mistake. This procedure will be in operation in all future issues of The Peeing Post. So, if you want to connect with me, simply click on teh peeing dog!
Cheers and woof,
If you have any suggestions to contributions or contents of The Peeing Post, or some comments or questions pertaining to this issue or in to dogs in general, I will be happy to know about them. If I can find an answer for you, I will!
You can reach me by simply clicking on the peeing dog to the right. --->
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PS. Just a little word about the name "The Peeing Post"... It is not meant to be offensive or provocatively disgusting. I don't mind if you find it funny, though. My reference is the fact of dogs using urine extensively for communication. The urine is, chemically, a reflection of the the blood's chemical composition. All simple proteins and lighter molecules in the blood will also find their way out into the urine. In an analytical laboratory, chemists can use this to find all kinds of valuable information about you and your health, from testing a urine sample (if the sample was from you, that is...).
Dogs don't need a laboratory for this kind of information. They are already gifted with the most sensitive and diversified gas detector man has ever seen! A dog's nose can detect smaller concentrations of a greater variety of gases and vapors in the air than any gas detector or analytical instrument ever made by humans!
Dogs can for sure do a "pregnancy test" with a single sniff to a bitch's urine. They can also tell from the urine of a male how much self-confidence that male has - because there is a direct link between self-confidence and high levels of testosterone, the main male hormone! The dog can tell what you got to eat - because small traces of the food will be discharged in the urine. Dogs will also know if you are taking any kind of medication - again, the urine reveals it! (Sorry, Ladies - but most men do have these kinds of experiences with their dogs...)
In general, however, we only know very little about the specifics of this, mainly because it is so incredibly difficult (and expensive) to test. But it remains completely outside any doubt that the information dogs get from urine is vast - and this information is important to them, as you can confirm very easily by simply watching your dog when you take it out for a walk...
A chemist myself of education (I hold a Ph.D. level degree in analytical chemistry), I am very intrigued by this. It actually fascinates me as an area I really would like to know much more about. It also makes me humble - I realize that I will never get to know it all and that my main source of information about it will be the dogs I train and watch and communicate with.
I hope this helps flushing the possible unpleasant emotions you had about the name down the drain...