Genetics and silliness

I ran across Ancestry.com’s latest ad.  It was ‘exposing’ that Brits aren’t really British.  I had to laugh because of what I know about the history of the British Isles makes their whole ‘discovery’ hilarious.  For whatever its worth, my BS is in Sociology, with a minor in History and Literature.  Now I’m not arguing with them, they’re right, but lets explain it a little.

Here’s the original article complete with pie chart.

The British Are Less British Than We Think

And here’s my response.

I’m sorry I had to laugh at the pie chart put out by the Ancestry people. Anyone shocked at their results should pull out their history books and read them.  They show the Irish Celtic DNA (technically the Native Englanders) the Romans fought showed at 22%. Italian/Greek showed at 3%. It sounds like some Roman Soldiers had a little fun on their liberty days before being recalled from Hadrian’s Wall and Bath to fight the barbarians at the gate. Anglo Saxons ok. The Saxons moved into England and were in charge for a long time after Rome fell so 37% sounds right. As far as Western European/French uh, HELLO, Normans as in William the Conqueror who showed up and beat the Saxons show 20%. Scandinavians well, here comes the Vikings with 9%. The Iberian influx were maybeee survivors of Spanish Armada at 3%. and the infamous Other at 7%. Actually, I’m surprised that its such a low number. Give it another century, it will be much higher probably showing more middle eastern. But overall. It just doesn’t matter. its okay for fun, but I wouldn’t take it seriously.

Here’s the big main deal.  Populations are fluid.  We can track it in the history books, we can see it in the bazaars and the forums.  There is no such thing as races, only ethnicities and religions.  They come, they go.  We may or may not like it, but it is what it is.

Checking human DNA is like checking a Rat Terrier.

The Rat Terrier is a working farm dog.  It is part white terrier, part Whippet, part Beagle, and maybe some Jack Russell or even Dachshund.  Basically, whatever was successful survived.  A stupid dog, like a stupid person just doesn’t live very long without societal help.

Be proud of who you are. Because you are the result of successful blood lines.  Your forbearers survived feast, famine, war and pestilence.  Some traveled to different islands or even continents.  It’s okay to be new, you just have to be successful.


Jacks and Rats in the house Pt 4

I’m back, trying to catch up with writing.  So here’s another chapter in the series so far.

So, what’s with the Rats?  Are they victims or characters. This is the story of my Rat Terriers.  I love Ratties.  They are the sweetest little dogs.  Same size as Jack Russells but a bit more delicate, and less carousing in their nature. My grandparents raised them so I knew more what I was getting with them.

After Bridget passed so unexpectedly, I was flummoxed.  She was my darling and to lose her so unexpectedly was soul breaking. She had been a true Warrior Princess  There was a hole in my heart and next to me in my bed.  For me to heal, it had to be filled.

Now, I’m not a person who sits and moans for months.  As a rescuer I knew there was little darling who needed saved…maybe today.  So a week after losing Bridget, I was deep in Pet Finder.  As I scrolled through the pictures, one in particular stopped me.  She was a black and white terrier mix, her photo was a profile and strongly resembled Bridget.  As I examined the picture, the video activated, and she turned to look at me. She was crying out to me for help. I showed her to my husband but the vid wouldn’t work again.  He gently pointed out ‘it wasn’t a video, just a picture’.

I called the number listed for the pound and through the machinations of Russell Rescue of Texas and a credit card, I was able to secure her freedom.  I purchased her on line, a wonderful lady went and picked her up from the pound, another drove her from Garland TX to New Braunfels TX where I met them.  We got her on Friday.  Saturday, she had been scheduled for euthanasia.  The RR ladies had also secured 3 other terrier mixes at the pound saving them as well.

The little black and white girl crawled into my arms and tucked up under my hair.  She was very thin, about 7 pounds for her 9 inches of height. Her age was judged to be about 7 months old. I named her Katie, after the character in my book.

But this was no happy puppy.  This was a very needy, sad, broken little dog.  Abbott and Jessie accepted her with no qualms, and she was house broken so we just let her follow us around and crawl in out laps whenever she wanted.

When looking at her paperwork, it showed she and another dog were picked up off the streets of Garland on the 16 of Oct, We took her on the 3 of Nov. Due to her poor condition, I wanted to wait a month for the spay so she would be stronger.  So she was scheduled for a well dog visit on 1 Dec, and to get her appointment for neutering.

To make a long story shorter, my vet informed me my baby dog of 9 months was pregnant.  Merry Christmas.  No spay for her.  Mother hood loomed large, even though she was still very thin.  (I thought her belly bump was worms.) and she a mere pup herself.

So on 17 Dec, we returned home from dinner to find her in the middle of our king-sized bed having her babies.  3 males, 2 brown spotted, one solid brown.  Poor Katie looked  embarrassed and afraid.  But we welcomed everyone, put them in the nest she was supposed to have had them in, and closed the door.

My husband looked at me and said. ‘No, we can’t keep them all.’

I, of course, agreed.

 

(to be continued)

 

 

 


Recovery at last.

I’m back from the convention, mostly well and getting back into the swing of thing.  If you read my bio, you’ll see I’m 63.  Not terribly old, but certainly old enough to know better than to fly to British Columbia and run around Vancouver and its environs on a crutch, a sprained knee and an aggravated spine fracture (the ER doc’s words, not mine.).

But there hadn’t been a GateCon in 6 years, and when Col. O’Neill calls all good Gaters respond.  So, me and a group of equally crazy galpals, headed for the Great North West in response.

Richard Dean Anderson aka Jack O’Neill aka Nicodemus Legend aka Angus MacGyver was there, large and in charge.  Interestingly enough he too is showing his erm, mileage.

In his defense, RDA is 65 and has had some health problems.  And he’s recovering from his own damaged limbs.  Apparently, he took a header down some steps chasing a pup he’d inherited from his Mom at her passing.  Concussion, sprained wrist, broken ribs, and a broken elbow.  But, for all his injuries, he remained the Host with the Most.

The ‘guests’ were just about every SGC team member, villain, sidekick, comic relief ever made an appearance.  Daniel’s good father, Sam’s Tok’ra dad, Bra’tak, Walter, Persis, Narim, Ba’al, Nirti, Hathor, on and on and on.

Unfortunately, the rest of SG1 sent their regrets.  Shanks and Tapping were working on their projects, (he has an award-winning TV show and she’s directing something). The others were not specifically heard from but we can assume they are hale and hearty.

There were also some authors from Fandemonium, the company that is presently writing, creating, publishing and printing the StarGate novels.  They did a seminar what was interesting to the writers that were there.  One thing that stuck in my mind was the advice to ‘fill the box with sand’.  You can always take it out, but you first must fill the box.  Well, its something to think about.

Vancouver is a beautiful city.  It’s no wonder so many TV shows and movies are made there.  As we took the tour bus we could see signs all throughout the city advising us of filming in process and streets closed.  The people were nice and weren’t really aware of the con going on.  The feeling was small town and a bit pricey, but no surprise considering we were in another country.  But if you like seafood, this is the place.  The worst thing that happened was Sprint has no towers in Vancouver, so I was incommunicado. No phone, no facebook, not even email. But, every time I turned around there was some eye candy in view.  Okay, a bit mature, but eyecandy none the less.

I actually spent a whole 5 days in country, with 2 days of travel.  Apparently no Airlines go directly from San Antonio to Vancouver.  But Delta was very accommodating to a old gal with a cane.  But when I came home I dropped like a rock.  All my physicalities came back to roost.  I never would have survived a Big Flashy Con.  So I lay around the house for a few(?) days recovering and catching up.

Oh, and I don’t know what to blame it on but maybe it was the Sprint thing, but my Chrome browser here at home ceased to function.  So, I had to install Firefox.  My passwords were long gone and forgotten.  My list of passwords obviously had not made it through my husband’s cleaning frenzy a while back so no joy there.  Chrome had saved them all, but FF was clueless.  So I spent the next week reloading new pass words.  Sigh.

But I am back, mostly healed and rejuvenated, and working on my sequel again.  Faithfully filling the box with sand to be gently emptied out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Knowing Horses

I’m taking a break from one heart passion, my terriers, to my soul passion, the Horse.

First, I would like to take this chance to thank Vicki Ives and her daughters at KARMA FARMS for doing this thing I’m so madly ranting about.

We wonder why the world is so unconcerned about wild horses, the mystical antique breeds or just horses in general. I hope KARMA FARMS with their summer programs for children and adults continues to educate and impress our youth with the love and appreciation of these magical creatures. Not enough people know horses today, even in a little way. They watch them on video or read about them in books but they don’t know the truth of them.

Those of us who have touched, brushed, sweated, stroked, ridden or driven them know of their beauty, their strength and their gentleness. The modern person only sees them in two dimensions. We, the horsemen of the world, need to unlock the secrets of the horse to the children and the dreamers. The Passionate ones need to be awakened.

If you own a horse, open your world to others and show them the magic. Bring others into the world of the sight of their beauty, the touch of their noses and coats, the smell of their bodies and their sweat, the sense of their power as they bend to our asking. Put a child on a gentle horse. Take your friend to the barn. Let their fear pass into our love of this Magnificent Creature who comes to us so trustingly and willingly. If we don’t introduce people to our world, they won’t know anything but ignorance, fear and false lies told by others who fear our spirit animal.

Lies like they are only animals, they are stupid, they don’t care for their families and they don’t have fear or pain when they are taken from us. That they don’t feel pain when wounded.  That they don’t mourn for their dead. We must educate the children behind the computers and in front of the televisions. Without the support of these people we will lose our miracle that is the horse. They will pass into history and leave us alone in the cold harsh world. So take a friend to your horse, or a barn or a farm and introduce them to the wonderous creature we call our friend and partner.

If you don’t know someone with horses, take a riding lesson or go to a rescue and volunteer to help.  Learn their smell, their touch, and their spirit. You will be amazed at what you learn not only about horses but about yourself.

 

 


Jack and Rats in the House Pt 3

This will be a happier one, I promise.

I was at home when I got the call.    Robyn from Russell Rescue was on the phone and was asking for a doggy favor.

While I do mostly transport of dogs from one place to another, this was a little bit special.  I had the two dogs, Abbott and Bridget, at this point.  We had discussed adding another dog, but these two were perfectly balanced for each other.  Having Jacks can be a challenging thing if they don’t get along and these two did beautifully.  The only fights were when they were defending each other against other critters.  But every once in a while, we’d keep a dog for a weekend or several days. This was one of those special times.

There had been a little mama dog picked up by San Antonio ACO.  RR had waited the period of time hoping she’d be adopted but no one had stepped forward and she was in her last hours.  So, one of ‘our’ rescued dogs was being adopted and it was decided to go and get her.  I live close so I was asked to go and pick her up.

Jessie,as she was dubbed, was about 6 years old. This is not old for JRT as they normally live 15 years or more.  But this little girl was in sad shape.  The theory was she had been used as a breeder dog, one whose lot in life is to produce puppies year after year.  I was told she’d been picked up off the street in the south side of San Antonio.  There were no puppies, but she was lactating.  SA ACO will only adopt a dog after its been neutered, so I knew she would still have stitches.

I got there to pick her up at 6 PM.  The lady was nice enough but obviously very busy.  I had a crate with a pillow in the back of the car all ready for her.  Then they carry her out and she’s still unconscious, stitches in her tummy and milk running out of her nipples.

Since no one had seen her, I was supposed to report on her size, her build and if she had a long tail. As an aside, a true good Jack Russell should be between 10 to 15 inches tall, have tipped ears and a docked tail of about 4 inches long. As I took her and put her in the crate, I realized that she did not fit this description.

If you remember my Abbott dog, Jessie looked like a pup of his.  They are both only 8 inch shorty jacks aka puddin Jacks, with Queen Anne legs (bowed like the furniture) with long tails, and in her case, one prick ear and one tipped.  So, I had to tell Robyn that she was not the beauty we were hoping for.  She also didn’t eat or drink for a day or two.  I was very concerned that the vet had over sedated her as sometimes happened with small dogs but in true terrier fashion she came out of it in a few days.

I had put her in a vacant bedroom and pulled the door closed when I went to work the next day.  But evidently Abbott and Bridgett wanted to see the new dog and had pushed the door open.  My husband had also been curious and had been in there talking to her and trying to get her to eat and drink. So after a few days she was released and began to perk up.

Jessie went from depressed, to scared, to even a little aggressive.  But this wasn’t surprising because her hormones were, to say the least, all fouled up.  From a mama, to a throw away, to captured, to frightened, to hurt(spayed), to given over to us she barely had a chance to know what was happening to her.

We’d kept her for two weeks, longer than expected. Then I got the word to bring her to her foster home.  But hubby had fallen for the new girl in the house and we happily failed fostering 101.  She and Abbott are two peas in a pod.

Taking a dog in that has had no socialization is not always easy.  She had to be house broken, she didn’t know how to walk on a leash, she was fearful of everything.  But the pack helped a lot.  She was the sweet little sister and the two dominants just took her along with them.  She loves her Papa, she loves her sibs and she is nice to me.  That’s okay, the others are ‘my’ dogs, and hubby needed his own darling.

We’ve had her for 4 years now.  She’s a bit fat, a little lazy, actually had to learn to run after being a breeding female most of her life and accompanies hubby on his walks.  She’s perfect for her position in our little pack.  And she is the HAPPIEST dog I’ve ever known. It’s fun just to watch her hop around the backyard.  She just wiggles around and asks for her rubs and scratches.  After an hour or so, she’ll go and find her box or corner of the bed and go back to sleep.

Adopting is a wonderful thing. Jacks are so smart and loving if you accept them for what they are.  They are active, bouncy and a handful.  They also need a job and to be shown what it is.  Don’t put them in the house, or the yard and ignore them.  Make them part of your family.  All they want is to love you. Let them.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Rats and Jacks in the house, Pt 2

part 2 is about love and loss.

After Race died at the ripe of age of 15, we determined that we should get another dog sooner than later.  Abbott was definitely missing a companion and he sadly moped around the house.

I started checking all my local sources for a female pup to keep him company and brighten up the house. Russell Rescue didn’t have any little girls so I turned to Petfinder.com.  After a week or two a picture popped up on my computer.

Bridget was in Fredericksburg, TX. several hours away.  But it was Thanksgiving friday, a quiet drive for Abbott and I (my hubby had gone to visit his family).  When we got to the very nice Humane society I brought Abbott in and we were introduced to Bridget, a beautiful Jack Russell female.  We all went to the meet and greet room.  She totally ignored us, running around the room looking for a non-existent exit.  Meanwhile Abbot was having an unexpected meltdown.  He was either afraid of being left or worried about the other dog being taken away.  So I took him back to the car and left him in his crate.

When I went back in they had taken the little girl back to her kennel, thinking that I didn’t want such an unsocialized dog.  It seems that Bridget had been caught in a humane trap in a chicken coop two months earlier. The nice farmer had brought her to them instead of killing a chicken thief.  She’d been adopted to a single lady with a little daughter and they left Bridget loose in the apartment. When they returned, she had murdered all the Barbie dolls by ripping their heads off. Poor Bridget had been spanked and brought back.  No wonder she was so petrified. I knew if I didn’t take her, she’d never be adopted. I did take her, leaving a check that they said they would hold in case I changed my mind. I never did.

I can go on and on about Bridget and tell hundreds of stories about her. Way too many for this blog.  I’m sure I can come back and tell them properly in the future.  The moral of her story is  She was the best terrier I’ve ever owned.  A true Jack Russell.  Life was something to be lived in the fullest.  Never a bad day, always an adventure.  She loved walking out on leash, fighting other dogs (not her pack, others), killing critters in her yard, chasing squirrels and running running running running.

Her way too short life came to an end at age 8 was at a Terrier Trial.  She was running the flat race when she simply dropped dead.  She ran right out of her little body.   The vet on scene told me it could have been a heart attack or even a brain aneurism.  I could have found her in the yard or on my pillow.  I even talked to her and called her for several hours in my little hole of sorrow. But she’d gone on to other adventures chasing celestial possums and heavenly squirrels.

The nice people at the trial made me eat a little and then I drove her home to put her next to Race. Abbott helped of course, as he did with Race, watching my back and kissing my tears away.  We did have another female (a foster failure from San Antonio Pound) but this girl, Jessie, smelled death and hid in her box for days.  But, my little man did his duty, supporting me and mourning his partner as long as we did and I think we still do.

Life and death are part of owning (or being owned by pets. I’ve heard several homilies about why dogs don’t live longer. I believe they are with us to teach us things.  Like the joy of chasing squirrels, the patience to train a puppy who had no skills, kindness for another dog who was scared and hurt.  They are all good things but the next dog, and there should always be a next dog, will continue to teach you something else of value.

Yes, it hurts.  But would I give up 7 years of joy to prevent a time of tears.  No, I wouldn’t. There is too much value in those happy, laughing times. Times when a feral dog curled up in my lap, and licked me awake in the morning.  I know there is some other little one out there who needs a safe place.  Neither Race or Bridget would begrudge their kin or me another love.

 

 

 


Rats and Jacks in the house.

I write a great deal about dogs.  They usually hanging around in both my fan fiction and in my novels.  I have even been known to write poems and articles about dogs.  They color my view of the world and society. So when you find one in my writing, don’t be surprised.

I determined that for you to understand where my characters come from, you should know a little about me and my dogs.  You can skip this and catch up later, but if you hear barking in the background, look for a wagging tail to show up.

A few days ago, I wrote about my Pits.  They were precious dogs, rare and irreplaceable, but I know wherein my heart lives.

The picture here is myself in childhood with our Rat Terriers.  The two in my arms are Sissy (prick eared) and Spotty (tip-eared). The one next to us is Tiger, these are all offspring from Mitsey, the one in the back from different litters.  These were dogs of my childhood, my companions in exploration and my guardians in my follys.  Tiger was mortally injured by a car, Spot died of a heart attack, but Mitsey lived for about 18 years and Sissy well into her 20s.

When my husband took work as a fishing guide on Falcon Lake after his retirement from the USAF, I determined I needed a dog. We had previously decided that we wanted a long-lived breed, either a terrier or a dachshund. Well he was not there and I was so when I found a Jack Russell Terrier at a flea market I immediately brought her home.  Her great and enthusiastic speed earned her the name Racer or Race.  She was my darling and protector while hubby was gone.  When I suffered a broken ankle she protected me from Pizza delivery men, postmen, my mother and mice.

Race also took on an orphan Pit Bull puppy to raise as her own.  She loved that baby beyond all expectation.  As a humorous none, one of the neighbors complained that my ‘vicious’ Pit Bull would kill my cute little white dog.  Later, she apologized when she evidently saw Race ‘savagely attacking’ my other dog.  Of course, no blood was ever spilt so when i explained their relationship the lady was more comfortable when she heard the play. In fact, the only blood let on the ground was that of possums, snakes, squirrels, some feral cats and unfortunately a 5 foot king snake.

When Bonny died unexpectedly, Race had a nervous breakdown and a possible stroke.  We tried to get another terrier puppy but I swear I couldn’t find one.  Finally, I heard of a wonderful organization called Russell Rescue.  http://www.russellrescue.com/   Two very nice ladies, sisters Sandra and Robyn, are the heart and soul of this organization.  I was advised to get a male and an adult who wouldn’t bother Race too much but would be company to her.  So we got Abbott.

Little Abbott is an interesting dog.  He was very respectful of the aging lady Race.  She was only 13 but she had never recovered from the loss of Bonny.  Mostly blind now, she didn’t really like him, but she accepted him and he was more or less her seeing eye dog.  But they were very different. She’d been raised by us from a puppy. Abbott was 2 or 3 years old already and had suffered abuse at the hands of a man. It took he and my husband a while to declare a truce, but they did, and finally became fast friends.

The best way I can describe the two dogs relationship came about from the final squirrel hunt.I was lucky enough to witness it from the kitchen window so I assure you it is true.  Since Race had gone blind, she didn’t hunt the squirrels any more.  Abbott didn’t really know how.  He could handle mice but not squirrels who were almost as big as him.  Well, one day a huge male squirrel came to earth and was generally ignoring my two terriers who were asleep on the porch. Abbott saw him took a run at him and somehow actually managed to grab the squirrel by the tail.  The squirrel, outraged, turned on him and bit Abbott on the foot, causing him to squeal.  Before I could get to the door, Race leaped up from her chaise lounge and ran towards the combatants.  She couldn’t see the squirrel, but I guess she could see the white form of Abbott.  By the time I got outside, Race had shown Abbott how it is done.  The huge squirrel was at least a foot and a half long with tail and was fighting so never saw her coming.  Race grabbed it and slung it in true terrier style. Then she carried it around the yard, proud of her success and basking in her glory. I took Abbott inside to give him first aide for the bitten paw.  Then I took a hot dog out to trade Race for the squirrel.

Race made it to 15 years.  A decent enough age, but far short of what we had hoped for her. I know the difficulty she had with Bonny’s loss cost her several years.  She suffered a grand mal seizure and we let her go while holding her in our arms. I brought her home and buried her in the back, with Abbott in attendance. When I put the stone down on her grave, he lifted his leg on it.  No one would bother her sleep, by his signature and pledge.

end of part 1.  to be continued.