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For the Love of Dogs
An A-to-Z Primer for Dog Lovers of All Ages
By Allison Weiss Entrekin, Mark Anderson
Triumph BooksCopyright © 2011 Allison Weiss Entrekin
All rights reserved.
"A" is for Adoption.
Though dogs like to roam, Every last one knows There's no place like home.
Every year, approximately 7 million dogs and cats enter shelters in the United States.
They range from young to old, small to large, mixed-breed to purebred (in fact, the Humane Society of the United States estimates that as many as 25 percent of all shelter dogs are purebred). Each of these animals deserves to be adopted into a loving, forever home, but unfortunately, statistics show that only about half of them will exit shelters with a family. To find out more about animal adoption and how you can help, visit www.humanesociety.org.
"B" is for Beagles,
A howling good breed. They'll wake up the neighbors But love you indeed.
Beagles' penchant for baying prompted the French to call them be' gueules ("gaping mouths"), which led to their current name, Beagles. They are happy hunting dogs whose most famous family member is Snoopy from the Peanuts comic strip. Like Snoopy, they are even-tempered and caring toward people. Their sweet disposition, coupled with their small size and low-maintenance coat, make them ideal pets for many people. Beagles have historically placed among the top-five most popular breeds in the United States, according to the American Kennel Club.
"C" is for Cavaliers,
The spaniel of kings. They want (and receive) All of life's finer things.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels were named after King Charles II of Britain (who reigned during the 17th century), and countless paintings and tapestries depict their ancestors posing with aristocratic families. Known for their playfulness and good humor, Cavaliers generally get along with everyone from babies to large dogs. These pups aren't afraid to be pampered — they love having their long, silky ears brushed, and they're happy to curl up in their parents' laps for a snooze.
"D" is for Dachshunds.
Their spunky demeanor Makes them America's Real favorite wiener.
Dachshunds may be short in height, but they're long on personality (their bodies are pretty long, too!). Always tenacious, they'll chase squirrels and bark at much larger dogs with reckless abandon. Perhaps that's why the Germans call them "badger dogs!" Because of their build, they are sometimes referred to as "wiener dogs" in the United States. There are three fur varieties among Dachshunds — smooth, wirehaired, and longhaired. The breed as a whole is traditionally one of the top-10 most popular in the country, according to the American Kennel Club.
"E" is for English Foxhounds;
They're jolly good Brits. They'll spend the day hunting Then have tea and biscuits.
As their name indicates, English Foxhounds trace their roots to Great Britain, where they were bred to hunt foxes. Full of energy, they love to run ... and run ... and run. (Good apartment dwellers, they are not!) They like being with other dogs or people as part of a pack; this is how their ancestors traveled while on the hunt. They are the short, stocky, and slightly slower cousins of American Foxhounds and a favorite subject of painters who create hunting scenes.
"F" is for the First Dog,
A puppy named Bo. He has reached the highest office A canine can know.
In 2009, the Obama family received a gift from Senator Ted Kennedy — a Portuguese Water Dog named Bo. This helped President Obama fulfill his campaign promise to his daughters that he would let them have a dog once the election was over. Bo is an upbeat and feisty fellow who keeps Sasha and Malia Obama company in the White House, and he's even allowed to roam inside the Oval Office with the president himself. Still, President Obama insists he will not allow the pooch to share a bed with him; at press time, he still hadn't caved.
"G" is for Golden Retriever.
They'll turn your clothes blonde, But teach you that love Is a powerful bond.
Whether they're serving as guide dogs, search-and-rescue dogs, or simply family dogs, Golden Retrievers excel at what they do. Their long, golden coat is beautiful to behold, but it also sheds seasonally, which means their people are usually covered in hair. But these dogs are worth a few extra lint brushes — intelligent and eager to please, they are widely considered one of the most loving breeds. Golden Retrievers have historically ranked among the top-five most popular breeds in America, according to the American Kennel Club.
"H" is for Hooch.
We'll never let go Of the story of Turner And his Dogue de Bordeaux.
Turner and Hooch, the [1989 comedy starring Tom Hanks, was a box-office success thanks in no small part to the lovable "Hooch," its Dogue de Bordeaux headliner. Like Hooch's character, Dogues are large, a bit slobbery, and very loving, true guardians with loyal hearts. They're affectionate with people, but they're not afraid to protect their homes if they feel threatened. Sometimes referred to as French Mastiffs, these dogs can weigh up to 110 pounds, and their heads are considered the largest in the canine world.
"I" is for Instincts,
The things dogs just do. Like bark at a stranger — Or chew up your shoe.
Dogs have a number of inborn tendencies that can vary from breed to breed. Some like to dig, while others prefer to chase. Some bark at strangers, while others hide in tight spaces. Depending on when these instincts occur and to what degree, they can be heroic, infuriating, or just plain funny. There is one instinct all dogs share: loyalty to their owners.
"J" is for Jowls,
Dripping with drool. Pooches who shake them Could fill up a pool.
Simply put, jowls are droopy cheeks, and they can show up on everyone from humans to pigs. A number of dog breeds have large jowls, including Boxers, Bulldogs, Mastiffs, and Saint Bernards. These dogs tend to drool more than others because their saliva pools inside those hanging flaps. When they shake their heads, watch out! You're in for a serious water show.
"K" is for K9 Officer.
Don't mess with the law, Or you could end up In a clever dog's jaws.
Dogs have assisted law-enforcement officials for centuries; records indicate that pooches helped keep the peace in St. Malo, France, as far back as the 14th century. Today, K9 officers sniff for illegal substances, search for missing persons, and chase down bad guys. German Shepherds are among the most common breeds used for this type of work because of their strength and keen sense of smell, but Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, and even Beagles have worn badges to protect our communities.
"L" is for Labradors,
Canine overachievers. They've long been America's Favorite retrievers.
For 19 years running, Labrador Retrievers have enjoyed the top spot as the most popular dog in America, according to registration statistics compiled by the American Kennel Club. In fact, Providence, Rhode Island, is the only city in the nation in which Labs aren't among the top-five breeds. It's easy to see why Labs are perpetually in demand — they are even-tempered, easy-to-train, and loving toward humans. Originally bred to help fishermen catch fish that escaped from their hooks, Labs' "otter tails" serve as rudders that help them swim against strong currents. These days, their tails are more commonly seen wagging in the breeze as they soak in their parents' love and attention.
"M" is for Mascots,
From Uga to Rhett. These mighty canines Ain't cuddly pets.
Good mascots represent strength and tenacity, so it's little wonder that dogs are among the most popular ones in sports. Boston University rallies around a fierce Boston Terrier. BU's colors are scarlet and white, so the terrier's name is Rhett; as anyone who's seen Gone with the Wind knows, nobody loves Scarlett more than Rhett. Meanwhile, Uga is the University of Georgia's English Bulldog mascot. He reclines on a bag of ice inside an air-conditioned doghouse when he needs a break during football games. Many other college teams have Bulldog mascots, including Butler, Gonzaga, Mississippi State, Louisiana Tech, and Yale.
"N" is for Noses
'Cause dogs like to sniff. You can't cook in peace Once your hound gets a whiff.
Noses are the portals through which dogs see the world. Smelling is their primary sense — they have 220 million receptors in their noses for this purpose, while humans have only 5 million. This makes a dog's sense of smell thousands of times more sensitive than a human's! Is it any wonder, then, that dogs love to hang out in the kitchen when dinner is on the stove? Their sense of smell is also what helps them do amazing things like search for missing persons and detect certain types of cancers in humans.
"O" is for Obedience,
Keeping Fido on track And showing him you're the one Leading the pack.
Of all the virtues a dog can have, obedience is perhaps the most prized. Of course, the definition of an obedient dog varies widely — to some, it's a pooch who will come to them in a perfectly straight line during an obedience competition; to others, it's a dog who will simply come. Any dog who competes in a canine sport like disc catching or dock jumping must obey his or her trainer, just like an athlete obeys his or her coach. If you want help teaching your dog obedience, you're in luck: there are a whopping 750 books about the subject on the market.
"P" is for Poodle,
Sheared to perfection. Their good looks are matched By their charming affection.
Today, a perfectly coifed poodle is considered fashionable, but hundreds of years ago, it was considered functional. Poodles were actually bred as water retrievers in Germany, and their "Poodle hairdo" allowed them to swim efficiently while still keeping their vital organs and joints warm. Poodles come in three varieties — standard, miniature, and toy — and in a variety of colors. Loving and highly intelligent, they are among the top-10 most popular dogs in the country, according to the American Kennel Club.
"Q" is for Quarters —
Dogs must have their own: Sometimes a couch Is as good as a throne.
Most pooches have a place inside their homes that they think belongs only to them. That place may be a velvet dog bed with a built-in neck pillow, an electric warmer, and their name monogrammed on the front. Or it may simply be the coziest side of the family couch. For certain small breeds, a tight spot beneath the bed is where they feel safest from danger. But regardless of what their quarters looks like, most dogs have a "happy place" that appeals to their natural instincts as den animals.
"R" is for Runts —
The ones who start small Are often the biggest Treasures of all.
Every litter of puppies has its runt — the one who's smaller and weaker than the rest. But don't feel too sorry for this tiny pooch; as he learns how to jockey for milk without getting trampled, he just might become the smartest and most dominant one of all. And like Clifford the Big Red Dog (literature's most famous runt), the teensiest of puppies could grow up to be largest of adult dogs — and the sweetest.
Excerpted from For the Love of Dogs by Allison Weiss Entrekin, Mark Anderson. Copyright © 2011 Allison Weiss Entrekin. Excerpted by permission of Triumph Books.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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