Friday, September 30, 2011

CHLOE'S BIG ADVENTURE!

On Wednesday, Chloe had a Really Big Adventure that she wasn't supposed to have, and it made Mom all worried and mad.  What happened to cause this Big Adventure was that Chloe went out in the back yard when Mom didn't know she went out there.  And then Chloe got over the tall fence and left the yard!  We don't know where she went after that, and she's really not talking, which is a shame because I would like to learn all about everywhere that Chloe went and what she did.


Chloe had already been in trouble before because a couple of times she went out in the yard at night, and then she didn't come in, and Mom looked all over inside the house for her, and finally she found Chloe out in the yard.  But it's hard to see Chloe in a dark yard because Chloe is gray.  So Mom started not letting Chloe go out after dark.  But Mom still let Chloe run out just onto the patio in the daytime to nibble a little grass or hunt bugs.  At least she let Chloe do that until last Friday, when Mom was bringing her plants in for the winter.

On that day, she left the back door open for a long time, and Chloe and Charlie both went out in the yard some.  Charlie didn't go very far because he's a scaredy cat, but Chloe was way out in the middle of the yard, under the ornamental grass, and she got chased back into the house by Nicky.  So Mom started worrying about how far Chloe was going, and on Sunday when Mom finished bringing in the rest of her plants, she put Chloe and Charlie in their room upstairs and shut the door.  And Jacen had to stay in his crate all the time Mom had the back door open because Mom does not want him to go outside at all, not even a little ways.

Anyway, on Wednesday morning, Mom fed the cats and us dogs, and then she let us dogs go outside right after breakfast, just like she usually does.  Then we all came back inside, except for Nicky, who didn't want to come inside because he was busy staring at a squirrel in a tree.  So Mom left him out there while she did her email, and after that he came inside.  Then Mom took a shower, and when she went back downstairs, she gave us treats.  Charlie showed up to get a treat, but Chloe didn't, which was very much not like her.


So after that, Mom went looking everywhere in the house for her, and she couldn't find her.  And then she looked everywhere in the yard for her, and she couldn't find her there either.  Mom even stood on the patio and called Chloe's name and shook a bag of kitten food, but that didn't bring Chloe home.  Then Mom went to the neighbors' houses on both sides of us, and they weren't home, so Mom trespassed into their back yards and looked for Chloe, but she couldn't find her.  And after that, she walked all the way around the block and looked for her, but she still couldn't find her.  Mom was especially worried because Chloe was the only one of us who didn't have a microchip, and also she wasn't wearing a collar or tags or anything either.

Finally, Mom went to play with dogs at the Humane Society, and she hoped that Chloe would have enough sense to come home all by herself.  But when Mom got back, Chloe was not in the back yard or in the front yard either.  We dogs went out in the back yard, and Henry, the dog next door, started barking, so Barry and Nicky were barking back at him.  Which is something that happens all the time, of course.  Then Mom made Barry and Nicky come in the house, but Henry just kept barking in a very excited way, and Mom started wondering if Henry might be barking at a cat.  So she went outside and looked over the fence, and sure enough, there was Chloe, hiding in the corner of the neighbors' yard, behind their air-conditioner.

Mom went and rescued Chloe, and after she brought her home, we all sniffed Chloe thoroughly to find out about her Big Adventures, which had lasted for several hours and smelled very interesting.  Now Mom has made a new rule which is:  No cats outside.  Ever.  Chloe has not really tried very hard to go out since she had her close encounter with Henry.  I could have told her to stay away from that bad dog, but she probably wouldn't have listened to me. Now she has learned the lesson for herself!


Yesterday, Mom took Chloe to Dr. Patricia's office and got her a microchip.  Now if she ever goes out for another Adventure and someone finds her, maybe they will be able to figure out that she is our cat and bring her back home to us.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

DOGS WHO GET STOLEN

Believe it or not, there are some very bad, horrible people in the world who will steal someone else's dog.  These people will steal a dog right out of a yard or a car or a house or a dog park.  They might take a dog who is tied up outside a store or even snatch the leash away from someone who is walking a dog.

Why would a person do something bad like this?  Well, there are several reasons, and I will tell you some of them.
(1) People might want to sell the dog over the internet or at a flea market or someplace and make money.


(2) If the dog's owner offers a reward, the person who stole the dog can say they found it and claim the reward.
(3)  They might just want a dog for themselves or for their kids, and they don't want to pay to buy or adopt one.
(4)  They might want to use the dog as a "bait dog" for dog fighting.










The dogs that get stolen most often are small breeds such as Yorkies and Pomeranians.  These breeds are  easy to hide and since they are popular, it's easy to sell them later.

The AKC says that in the first 7 months of 2011, 224 dogs were reported stolen.  In the same 7 months of 2010, only 150 dogs were stolen.  The total for 2010 was 255 dogs, which is up from 162 in 2009 and 71 in 2008.  The reason for this increase in dog-nappings is probably due to the bad economy and people looking for ways to make money.









So how can you keep someone from stealing your dog?  Well, first of all, you have to pay attention to where your dog is and to what he or she is doing.  You should keep your dog on a leash, so that it will stay close to you.  Also you shouldn't leave your dog by itself in the yard for long periods of time, especially if your yard can be seen from the street.  And if you are at a dog park, you should watch your dog closely so that nobody can lure it away and steal it.





Another thing you shouldn't do is leave your dog in a car, even if the doors are locked.  Sometimes thieves just break the window and take the dog anyway.  And don't tie your dog up outside a store while you go inside.  It is very easy for somebody to just untie your dog and take it away with them.  If you are walking your dog and somebody makes a big fuss over it, don't brag about how much you paid for it or tell the person where you live.  That could be like a special invitation to come and steal the dog.




You should keep a collar and ID tags on your dog, plus also get a microchip.  And you need to have a photo of your dog handy so that you can make up "LOST" posters if you need to.  Which hopefully, you will never have to do!

So anyway, those are the sad facts and warnings about how your dog could get stolen, which is something you don't want to happen, of course.  And since your dog doesn't want it to happen either, he or she will thank you for watching out for dog thieves!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

TOTO

This entry is all about Toto, who is a very famous fictional dog that most people have heard of.  And the reason so many people have heard of him is because he was the hero of the book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum, and also of the movie The Wizard of Oz.  There are some who think that Dorothy was the hero of the book and movie, but the real hero was actually Toto, who did all sorts of brave things such as pulling back the curtain to show that the Wizard was not a real wizard at all.






When Mr. Baum wrote the first Oz book in 1900, he did not say what kind of dog Toto was, but the illustrator of the first edition of the book made Toto be a Cairn Terrier.  We don't know how Toto got his name, but back in the 19th century, "Toto" was a popular name for dogs.  Also it was used a lot in France back then as a nickname for young boys.

Some people who study the meaning of literature say that Toto is a symbol of Anubis, the Egyptian god of death who had a dog's head.  They say this because Toto keeps doing things that make it so Dorothy can't get back home, such as running off just when she is going to go home in the hot-air balloon.







Other scholars say that Toto was the only one who brought joy to Dorothy's life back in Kansas because he loved her unconditionally.  But Dorothy lets Toto run through Miss Gulch's garden because Dorothy is trying to get more attention from Aunt Em and Uncle Henry.  So that means that Toto is the part of Dorothy that is creative, but which also gets her into trouble.  And by getting into trouble, she learns some important lessons.

But the fact is that I don't really care about any of that symbolic, deep meaning stuff.  I just like to think of Toto as a dog who loves his human and wants to go wherever she goes.  Dorothy and Toto take care of each other and help each other out, which is the way it should be when a person and a dog love each other.



The movie The Wizard of Oz was made in 1939, and the dog who played the part of Toto was a female brindle Cairn Terrier named Terry, who had been born in Chicago in 1933.  Terry was in a couple of films before she got her role as Toto, including one with Shirley Temple.  For being in the The Wizard of Oz, Terry earned $125 a week, which was more than some of the human actors made, such as the Munchkins, who only made $50 a week.





One day while the film was getting made, Terry got stepped on by a Winkie guard, and her foot was broken.  It took two weeks for her to get all better again, and she stayed at Judy Garland's house during this time.  Ms. Garland really liked Terry and wanted to adopt her, but Terry's owner and trainer, Carl Spitz, said no.

Terry attended the opening of the film at Grauman's Chinese Theater, and because the movie got to be so popular, Mr. Spitz changed Terry's name to Toto in 1942.  That was the same year that she made her last film, which was Tortilla Flat, and it was directed by Victor Fleming, who also directed The Wizard of Oz.



When Toto, who used to be Terry, died on September 1, 1945, she was 11 years old.  A man named Willard Carroll wrote her autobiography, which was called I, Toto.  The famous terrier was buried on Carl Spitz's ranch in Studio City, California.  But sadly, when the Ventura Freeway was built in 1958, her grave got destroyed.  Then on June 18, 2011, a permanent memorial was dedicated to Toto at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles.  It's nice that people did this, but I don't think anyone who loves the Wizard of Oz books or movie really needs a memorial so that they can remember a wonderful dog like Toto!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Dog Named Hobo

This is a true story about a British military dog named Hobo, whose job is to sniff out bombs.  Hobo is part of the 2nd  Battalion of the Royal Gurkha Rifles, and these soldiers are stationed in Helmand Province in Afghanistan.  The soldiers love Hobo because he is always romping around the base in a happy way.  Also, he has saved a bunch of lives by sniffing out bombs.  Which is another good reason to love him.

Hobo with some of the men in his unit

Anyway, on July 21, Hobo was on patrol in the Nahr-e-Seraj area with some members of his battalion plus some soldiers from the Afghan National Army.  Suddenly, there was an ambush by the insurgents, who were shooting automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades.

Hobo got hit by shrapnel in his neck, body, and abdomen.  The soldiers gave him first aid to try to stop the bleeding.  Hobo was very calm and just stood there, letting them take care of him.  Then he got put on a U.S. medical helicopter with some wounded soldiers.  As soon as the helicopter landed, Hobo was taken to a veterinary care center, and the vets gave him fluids because he lost a bunch of blood.  But they did not have to do surgery on him, so that was good.

Hobo with Private Patrick Medhurst-Feeny,
a vet tech who helped treat him

In about 10 days, Hobo had already got well enough to go back to his unit.  The soldiers were all very happy to see him there again.  On August 1, Hobo turned 3 years old.  He will finish his tour in Afghanistan in November, and after that he will go back to live in the UK, where he will be a demonstration dog.  I guess he will demonstrate how dogs sniff out bombs, but that part wasn't explained in the articles I read.

Hobo now has a new nickname, which is "The Luckiest Hobo."  And he also might be given the Dickin Medal, which is the highest award an animal can win for bravery.

Friday, September 23, 2011

GIANT AFRICAN SNAILS

Giant African Snails are the biggest land snails in the whole wide world!  Right now they are busy eating Miami, which is a big, important city in Florida.  So I think we can all agree that if Miami got eaten, that would be bad.  Giant African Snails are what you would call an "invasive species," which is kind of like being aliens from outer space.  When an invasive species gets started in a whole new place, sometimes it just takes over and causes all sorts of problems.



The scientific name of the Giant African Snail is Achatina fulica.  This species started out in East Africa, but now it has slimed its way into quite a bit of Asia, like especially China.  Also it is found on islands in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and in the West Indies.  Sometimes these snails are imported as exotic pets, and other times the snails or their eggs get into a ship's cargo by accident.

It is illegal to import Giant African Snails to the U.S. as pets or to keep them as pets.  They are only allowed to come here if they have a special permit, and if they will be used for research.  Giant African Snails like to eat pretty much any kind of plant, and they are very good at destroying crops.  Here are a few of the things they eat:  cocoa, papaya, peanuts, rubber trees, beans, peas, cucumbers, melons, cassava, garbage, animal poop, human poop, and even other Giant African Snails.






It's hard to tell what's going on here,
but it's supposed to be two snails mating.
Also, those white round things are eggs.
One reason these snails are such a big problem is that they make tons of baby snails, really fast, like even faster than rabbits make baby rabbits.  Giant African Snails are hermaphrodites, which means that each snail has both boy parts and girl parts.  This is very weird, if you ask me, which no one did!  But anyhow, the way this works is that any two snails can get together and mate, and then either of them, or both of them could lay eggs.  One snail can produce about 1,200 eggs a year, which is a lot of eggs!  An adult snail can grow up to be 10 inches long and 4 inches wide, and it might live as long as 9 years.














So you may be wondering how the snails got to Florida, since it is illegal for them to come there.  And the answer is that nobody knows for sure.  People just started finding snails eating their flowers and vegetable gardens.  Also the snails like to eat plaster and stucco off of houses because it gives them calcium for their shells.  And wherever they go, they leave their icky-looking poop behind.







It's possible that the snails came to Florida in 2010 when a woman smuggled some in from Africa by hiding them under her dress.  Ewww!  Talk about a creepy thing to have under your clothes!  Anyway, this woman brought the snails to a man who uses them in his rituals when he practices an African religion called Ifa Orisha.  I'm not sure what kind of rituals he does with snails, but Mom says that sometimes it's better if we don't know these things!





Anyway, back in the 1960s, Miami had an invasion of Giant African Snails, and the way it happened was that a boy smuggled three snails in from Hawaii to keep as pets.  Well, then those three snails made more snails, and the boy's grandmother got tired of having them around, so she put them out in her garden.  This was a huge mistake, because it took the state of Florida 10 years and a million dollars to get rid of all the snails, which added up to at least 18,000 all together.



Meanwhile, in Africa, where lots of people are starving to death, some groups are studying ways to use the snails for yummy, healthy meals.  It turns out that snail meat has more protein, iron, calcium, zinc, and other good vitamins than beef does.  Also, it's easy and cheap to get.  One good way to eat it is to make it into a pie.  But you have to be sure you cook the snails properly so you won't get meningitis from a parasite that likes to live in the snails.






I have to say that I think the snail pie looks like it would be quite tasty, and if someone served me one, I would definitely eat it.  But I don't like the idea of Giant African Snails eating Miami, because after they eat that city, they might go on to eat Atlanta and Richmond and Washington, D.C.  And if they came to Kansas City, they might eat our new lawn and all of Mom's flowers, which would be a bad thing.  So I would just like to ask all the Giant African Snails to please go back to Africa right now and let themselves be made into pies!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

ALL THE LATEST NEWS!

NEWS ITEM #1:  
We found another possum in our yard, like, right on our patio!  And this happened Saturday night.  Or maybe Sunday.  I can't remember which.  Anyway, Nicky found this possum, and it was hiding behind some plants.  It wasn't climbing the tree, like the one Mel found before.  So Mom came out to see what Nicky was so excited about, and at first all Mom could see was the tail, so she didn't know if it was a rat or a possum.  But she stamped her foot, and the tail didn't run away, so she figured it was not a rat.  Then she went and got her camera and took a couple of pictures.  This possum was much smaller than the last one, so we think it was just a baby one.  None of us got to eat it, which is kind of sad, since I'll bet it was nice and tender and juicy.





NEWS ITEM #2:
We are getting a new lawn!  A man came and sprayed our whole front yard, and that made all the grass die, plus also the violets, which was the main thing we wanted to get rid of.  Then that man and another man came and used a machine called a tiller, and it chewed up all the dead grass and dirt.  After that, they planted a bunch of grass seeds.  Now Mom has to water the yard every day so that the grass seeds will grow.






NEWS ITEM #3:
Mom bought us a new bedspread, and she got it at a thrift shop for only $9.99.  In the picture, you can see how cute Jacen and I look sitting on the new bedspread.  The old bedspread had a bunch of places where dogs had chewed holes and eaten the corners off of it.  Mom says she does not know how these things happen.  I know, but I am not telling.  Anyway, we have had the new bedspread for almost a week now, and no one has chewed on it yet.  Mom didn't want to spend a lot of money on a new bedspread, for some reason, so that's why she got one at the thrift store.  It's a very nice bedspread, except that it has funny puckers in a couple of places, but we don't care about that.


NEWS ITEM #4:
Here is a picture of the tile that Mom and Nicky painted.  It's pretty ugly, if you ask me, and Mom will say the same thing, if you ask her.









NEWS ITEM #5:
Mom bought two pieces of artwork at Art Unleashed, and here are some pictures of them.  The first piece is about 6"x6" and it's painted on a board.  It says "What would Johnny Cash do?"  Mom thinks this is funny, so that's why she bought it.  Also she likes the dog in the painting, and I do, too, even though the dog is not a basenji.







This other painting is of two dalmatians in front of a fireplace.  Mom said she likes the colors in the fireplace, which are all mostly brown.  What I like is the dalmatians, but I think their heads are shaped kind of funny.











NEWS ITEM #6:
Charlie started puking again, so he had to go see Dr. Patricia.  She said he probably has either (1) inflammatory bowel disease, (2) pancreatitis, or (3) intestinal cancer.  Most likely, it is IBD, which is the same thing Gabe had.  Mom had two cats in the past with this same thing, and she is tired of dealing with it, but it's better than cancer.  Anyway, Charlie has to take a bunch of pills, like prednisolone, metronidazole, and Pepcid.  Also he has to get probiotics in his food.











NEWS ITEM #7:
My last test of my adrenal gland said that my cortisol is still low, which makes me have something more like Addison's Disease instead of Cushing's Disease.  Anyway, we are trying to get the cortisol back to the normal place, but guess what!  I can now jump on the bed again, which I couldn't do for a while, and I have more energy.  Also my hair is growing back, and I don't look so bald anymore!

So that's all the latest news, and now you are totally up to date!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Hi! I'm JACEN!



WOW!  I am sooooo excited about writing in this blog thingy because I want to tell everybody ALL ABOUT ME!  And the first thing I want to say is that I am a cute, funny, kitten, and I LOVE to PLAY!  Yep, that's my very favorite thing to do!  I could just play all day long and then some, because it it so very, very fun!  But I also have to leave a little time for eating and sleeping, because I really like to do those things, too!


I am really, really glad I got to come to this foster home place, because I'm having such a great time running around all over the house and playing, playing, playing!  There are so many GREAT things to play with, and here  are some of my faves so far:   shoelaces, shower curtains, bedspreads, cobwebs, rugs, sofa corners, dog tails, clothes, towels, eyeglasses, kleenexes, pencils, camera straps, and my very own feet and cute little tail!


Every single day I find something new and exciting to play with!  I am just sooooo happy to be alive and to be a kitten and to play with stuff all day long!  I can't even tell you how happy I am!  My life here is almost totally perfect, and the only thing that would be more perfect is if I had another kitten to play with.  Those two Big Cats who live here, well, all they do is hiss and growl at me.  I don't know what their problem is.  But I just keep following them around, and any day now, I know they'll get over it and realize what a super-fun kitten I am!


The dogs mostly don't pay any attention to me, so they aren't much fun.  That tall dog actually gets up and WALKS AWAY when I come around!  What's up with that?  I wish he'd stay and let me play with his really long tail.  That would make such an awesome toy!  That one dog that is called Barry -- he's got a really cool tail with a big curl in it, and he wags it all the time, like he just WANTS me to pounce on it.  But then when I do, he just ignores me and goes away.  Sheesh!


Well, and then there's Piper.  She's pretty nice, and sometimes she sort of tries to play, but I can tell she mostly forgot how to do it because she's so old.  I think it will all come back to her eventually, though, because how can you ever, ever forget how to PLAY?


Mom says my ears are too big for the rest of me, and she also says that my legs and tail are too long for the rest of me.  But that's silly because I know that everything about me is PERFECT!  And I'm really smart, too!  I even figured out how to get up on the very tall kitchen counter by climbing up a towel that was hanging on the oven door.  Mom says I am too clever for my own good, but I don't know what she means by that.  And another thing she says is that I have way more energy than a kitten could ever need.  I think Mom just says crazy things so she can hear herself talk!


Oh, and I just LOVE the computer!  When Mom is using it, I like to walk all over the keys.  Mom gets mad when I do that, which is part of what makes it so much fun!  Also I like to watch stuff move around on the screen.  There's a bug that's shaped sort of like an arrow.  I keep trying to catch it, but it always gets away from me!  Yesterday Mom showed me something called Petfinder.  There were lots of pictures of cats and dogs there.  Mom said that someday soon MY picture would be there, too, and then somebody would see it and decide to adopt me, and then I could go live in my Forever Home.  I can hardly wait!  I hope there are lots of kittens there for me to play with!


And here's a picture of me asking Piper if I could write in her blog, and her saying, "Sure, whatever."


Then I had to sit and think about what I wanted to write.


And when I finished, I curled up in Mom's lap in front of the TV.  But after a while, I sort of went to sleep.  Which was fine, because I like sleeping, remember?  And sleeping gives me all that energy I need to play!


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

DOG PEOPLE, CAT PEOPLE

Today I am going to tell you some interesting statistics about dog people and cat people.  I did not make these numbers up, so don't blame me if you don't like them.  I am only reporting the results of a survey from a site called hunch.com [which was apparently shut down in March, 2014], where they ask people all sorts of questions about all sorts of subjects.  I do not know if these are scientific samples of people's opinions or not.  I am just sharing what I read in the survey.


Okay, so Hunch asked 222,651 people if they own pets, and 26% said they only have dogs, 16% said they only have cats,  and 13% had both dogs and cats.  Sadly, 40% of the people in the survey have no pets at all, which I personally think means they are weird and pathetic, and they have very lonely lives.  But that is just my opinion, and it is not part of the official survey.


Anyway, here are the things the survey said about the people who only have dogs:  they are slightly more likely to be male, 50% more likely to be conservative, 28% more likely to be students, 24% more likely to have kids, 30% more likely to live in a rural area, and 28% more likely to own their home.  Also, they are more likely to live in North or South America.


The people who only have cats are:  slightly more likely to be women, more likely to be liberal, 17% more likely to have a graduate degree, 29% more likely to live in the city, and 29% more likely to rent their home.  And more of them live in Europe or Oceania.

Oh, and by the way, people who have both dogs and cats are kind of in the middle between the dog people and cat people on all the questions in the survey.


Other stuff we can learn from this survey about dog-only people is that they are:
15% more likely to be extroverts;
36% more likely to be active outdoors;
18% more likely to consider Paul McCartney their favorite Beatle;
23% more likely to use an iPhone;
and their favorite TV shows are Curb Your Enthusiasm, American Idol, and Everybody Loves Raymond.



What we can learn about cat-only people is that they are:
11% more likely to be introverts;
27% more likely to prefer individual sports to team sports;
25% more likely to think of George Harrison as their favorite Beatle;
7% more likely to be Android users;
and their favorite TV shows are CSI, Damages, and Real Time With Bill Maher.

The people who have both dogs and cats are mostly female, aged 25-49, suburbanites, politically middle-of-the-road, and described as original and unique.

And finally, the poor, deprived people with no pets tend to be male, aged 18-34, city dwellers, politically liberal, and optimists who are described as successful and admirable.

I don't know who is doing the describing of these people.  Maybe it is the way they describe themselves, and if so, we don't know how honest these people are being, but we just have to take their word for it if they say they are admirable or unique or whatever.  Anyway, the small print at the bottom of the survey says that these statistics come from more than 80 million answers to questions on the Hunch website that were collected between March 2009 and June 2011.

And what this means, like I said before, is that I did not make these numbers up.  I am just reporting them, and you shouldn't get mad at me and say they are all wrong if you don't agree with them.  I just hope you thought they were interesting, like I did, which is why I am sharing them with you.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

BULL TERRIERS

This breed of dog has a head shaped like an egg, which makes it pretty funny-looking.  Also the eyes look like little triangles.  Bull terriers have round, muscular bodies, and they walk with a jaunty gait.  They are sometimes called the "gladiators of the canine race."  You might have seen some famous bull terriers in commercials on TV, like for instance Spuds MacKenzie, the dog that used to be in the Budweiser commercials, or Bullseye, who was in the Target commercials with red circles painted around one eye.





The reason bull terriers have a head that's shaped like an egg is because they don't have a "stop," like most dogs do.  The "stop" is that kind of dip in a dog's forehead between the eyes and the muzzle.  You might think that bull terriers just somehow evolved naturally to look the way they do, but that's not how it happened.  There was actually a man named James Hinks, and he designed the bull terrier by mixing several dog breeds together to come up with the look he wanted.






Back in the middle of the the 19th century, people used to use bulldogs to fight bulls and bears.  These were called "blood sports" because they were bloody and nasty to watch, but some people liked to watch them anyway, just like some people today like dog fighting or cock fighting.  Anyway, the bull or bear was usually tied up while the bulldog attacked it.  So there was no need for these bulldogs to have any speed or agility because they didn't have to get out of the way of the bull or bear when it tried to fight back.

But then people started breeding terriers and bulldogs together to get "Bull and Terrier" breeds.  These breeds could hunt rats and foxes and little animals like that, plus they could also do the blood sport thing.  About 1850, Mr. Hinks began trying to breed a Bull and Terrier type of dog with a clean appearance, good legs, and a nice head.

A bull terrier from 1915
First he started crossing English White Terriers (which are now extinct) with bulldogs.  He got a dog that was called "The White Cavalier," and a lot of people liked this type of dog.  But Mr. Hinks didn't want to stop there, so he added in some dalmatian, greyhound, Spanish pointer, foxhound, and whippet to make his dogs more elegant and graceful and to reduce their stop.  Also, he wanted white dogs.  Finally, in 1917, a dog of his named Lord Gladiator was recognized as the first modern bull terrier, and this dog had no stop at all.





But a lot of the all-white dogs turned out to be deaf, so in the early 1900s, some other people started breeding bull terriers with Staffordshire bull terriers in order to get different colors.  Nowadays, the rules for show dogs are that a white bull terrier can have color on its head but nowhere else on its body, or it can be black, brindle, red, fawn, or tri-colored with white markings.  But a bull terrier should never be blue or liver in color.  I don't know what's wrong with those colors.  I'm just telling you want the rules are.




There is also a miniature bull terrier, and it's smaller than the standard bull terrier, just like you might guess from its name.  The standard bull terrier is 20-24 inches tall and weighs between 45 and 80 pounds.  The miniature is 10-14 inches tall and weighs 24-33 pounds.







Standard and Miniature
Bull Terriers
Bull terriers have short hair that is easy to take care of.  They have lots of energy and love to play and do stuff like chase balls.  They can be scrappy or be real clowns.  They like all kinds of people, but they are often especially attached to their owners.

The average life of a bull terrier is 10-12 years long.  About 20% of the white puppies are born deaf, but only 1.3% of colored bull terriers are deaf.  Many bull terriers can get skin allergies, and they sometimes end up sunburned on the light-colored skin around their eyes, ears, nose and mouth.  Also some of them have obsessive-compulsive disorder, which makes them suck their tails, or hurt themselves by licking too much.

So that's the story of the bull terrier.  Mom thinks they are really cool-looking dogs, but she said we are not going to get one because they are likely to be too energetic for us.  If we were going to get a bully breed dog, Mom says we would probably get a pit bull.