RIP my baby!
(Feb 2006 - April 2008)

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Monday, 26 January 2009

A video of Norman having a seizure

Hi everyone,

herewith a video which I took of Normie whilst he had 2 seizures last Friday. The seizures were less than 10 minutes apart and each seizure lasted about 1 minute. In total he had 8 or 10 seizures that morning. I rushed him to the vet who gave him some valium and Normie fell asleep immediatly thereafter for about 4 hours. After he woke up he was 100% fine again and back to normal.

This is what happens when Norman has seizures:

Im trying to find a pattern as to why he has seizures. Is it maybe the food Im giving him, as I dont give him anything other than his doggie food and often give him cow hoofs and cow hides to chew.

I mentioned to the vet that I was stressed out during the week and asked if that could have had an effect on the doggies? The vet said that dogs can often smell the stress we experience.

Normie is back to normal again, but I always have to keep an eye on the little bugger.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Asta's Happiest day of her life

Hey everyone,

see what my buddie Asta got as a pressie the other day!

She looks like she is having so much fun.

I hope to get one just like this one day too.

Love Normie

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Happy New Year to all my wirey friends

Happy New Year everyone!

Cape Town has had some awesome summer evenings lately. We have hardly had any wind this summer, and walks on the beach at sunset have been so much fun!

This picture was taken of me 2 days ago.

Im lucky to be taken for these long walks, unlike our neighbour who left their sausage doggie alone since 20 December. (No walks, no attention, no love, only food and water from the people next door) I saw their lights on again last night for the first time again. Glad his parents have got back from their holidays.

Im also glad my mom will never leave me for so long like that, I know her too well. Mom said she will get granny to come stay by us if she had to go away for so long.

I suppose he was better off than being shuvved in a caged kennel for 20 days... ?

Hope you get spoilt with lots of time and love from your families this year.
Lots of love

Wednesday, 07 January 2009

Wire Fox Terriers do not have to be stripped

Why do I insist on the following fact:


Yes, you can strip them, its a nice feeling for them (sometimes, if the stripper knows what they are doing), but I firmly believe that there is no harm in clipping them.

According to my opinion, the outcome of stripping vs clipping is the following:
Stripping: The dog is ready for a dogshow.
Clipping: The dog is not ready for a dogshow.

What do I think of Dogshows?
- The owner gets all the credit (Thats MY dog! ...which I PAID A LOT of money for)
- A social status symbol.
OK appologies, thats the nasty side of me coming out.)
- However, being more realistic - If there were no dogshows (with dog breed rules), we would have a mass of nasty and or ugly dogs bred all over the place and no control over our precious varourite breeds. A endless Dog Breed War like in the 18th century. Luckily they dealt with all the fighting, now we just have to try and keep the dogs pure bred.

My Conclusion: Dogs should be treated with care and consideration. Making money or gaining status from animals is a long and open ended door to greed, and the only one that suffers when this state of mind sets in, is the animal. Which is why I always put on the brakes when people start telling me (or try to) what must and what must not be done to a certain breed dog.

And this is one of the reasons why I have started this subject of conversation, because some people have lost the plot a little: when the point of no return sets in (the point where the suffering of the animal is not part of the consideration of what they are trying to achieve).

Not all vets, dog owners, breeders and groomers think like this, but trust me on this one: if money or status is involved, think twice about what they say MUST be done to an animal (ie: in this case,the grooming procedure).

(btw, I would love one of these little dogs in the pic below - they are the cutest ever! oh and another thing I noticed... they are not stripped either ... love it.)

My resources of the my opinion above are the following:
(these are my resources, it does not mean I believe everything I read on the internet is true)

Below is an extract of some information that I have drawn from Wikipedia and various other websites and blogs.

More about The Wire Fox Terrier Dog

The Wire Fox Terrier is a breed of dog, one of many terrier breeds. It is an instantly recognizable fox terrier breed. Although it bears a resemblance to the Smooth Fox Terrier, they are believed to have been developed separately.

Their Traits:
Two of their most distinctive traits are their enormous amount of energy and intelligence. They have a low threshold for boredom and require stimulation, exercise and attention. The Wire Fox Terrier should be alert, quick, and ready to respond accordingly to anything from "mice to moonbeams" while being keen of expression and friendly and forthcoming.

A lengthy list of high expectations for a small-to-medium-sized dog, but the Wire Fox Terrier is a star. They can be very loving and exceedingly playful if they receive the proper care. They are bred to be independent thinkers, capable of tactical maneuvering for vermin and other sport. Their high level of intelligence makes them a dog that is not suited for everyone. Only the capable and appreciative owner need apply.

History of the Wire Fox Terrier
The wire fox terrier was developed in England by fox hunting enthusiasts and is believed descended from a now-extinct rough-coated, black-and-tan working terrier of Wales, Derbyshire, and Durham. The breed was also believed to have been bred to chase foxes into their burrows underground, and their short, strong, usually docked, tails were used as handles by the hunter to pull them back out.

Although it is said Queen Victoria owned one, and her son and heir, King Edward VII of Great Britain did own the wire fox terrier, Caesar, the wire fox terrier was not popular as a family pet until the 1930s, when The Thin Man series of feature films was created.

Asta, the canine member of the Charles family, was a Wire-Haired Fox Terrier, and the popularity of the breed soared.

This is a video clip that I found on Snowy:

Milou (Snowy) from The Adventures of Tintin comic strip is also a Wire Fox Terrier.

In the late 20th century, the popularity of the breed declined again, most likely due to changing living conditions in the Western world and the difficulty of keeping hunting terriers in cities due to their strong instincts. Among the less desirable traits of all fox terriers are their energy, digging, stalking and chasing of other animals, and yelping bark.

The wire fox terrier has the distinction of having received more Best in Show titles at major conformation shows than any other breed.

Source: Wikipedia

The Origination of the Wire Fox Terrier (The Black and Tan Terrier)

Working Fell Terriers (non-Kennel Club working terriers from the rocky Lakeland Fells region of the UK) have always been quite variable in terms of size and shape, but have always been colored terriers (tan or black or black and tan), as opposed to the white-coated "foxing terriers" preferred in the south of England.

Today, black and tan Fell Terriers are sometimes referred to as "working Lakelands" or Patterdale Terriers or simply as "black and tan" terriers.Whatever they might have called the dogs, this new Kennel Club "breed" appears to have been a put-up job comprised of a mix of terrier types that would not breed true.

In 1885 a survey of the winning dogs in the ring found that all of them were, in fact, first generation dogs, i.e. not Black and Tans out of Black and Tan sires and dams, but Black and Tans produced out of crosses with other breeds. For example, the winner of the first show in 1884 was a dog named Crib that was a cross between a blue-black rough terrier (what might be called a dark Border Terrier today) and a famous smooth fox terrier owned by L.P.C. Ashley called Corinthian.

Source: Wikipedia

This is the story that got my heart racing and got me to research this subject in more detail.

I can clearly see that this family loves their dog Fee dearly. But due ignorance this is yet another sad story about a loving family who have been told that they MUST STRIP their wft. They (and so many other wft owners) did not understand that a) they were doing it so wrong and b) they poor dog was traumatised so badly but nobody even noticed.

Hence this blogpost:

...more stripping. three pairs of hands (auntie pea’s, mom’s and dad’s) ran through my back, tail, neck, sides and face and there was little i could do although i did put up my best wft struggle and succeeded in nipping a few fingers. i called and glanced furtively at my wft parents for help, but they were resting their bloated bellies – too busy looking out at the garden and too engrossed with their tete a tete to hear their baby.i emerged after what seemed like an eternity (of stripping, clipping and scissoring), pink and almost bare like a piglet save for my legs (the ‘furnishings’, they call it) and muzzle. it was weird without my nice wavy fur – my security blanket gone! but i couldn’t care less. i was tired, and all i wanted was a nap.i climbed onto dad’s lap and dozed off, half draped over the armrest.

Source: Magic Fever

  • Did anyone notice how pink the dog is and not think that this is not right / normal?
  • Did anyone notice that this dog collapsed from pain and exhaustion?
  • Did anyone notice that this dog aparently faught for 3 hours to stop them from hurting her?
  • Why in heavens name did all the bloggers (Friends of Fee!!!???) not say anything?

Unlike me, which I know is sometimes to my detriment, I say it the way it is. I dont want this ignorance to continue. I want others who are thinking about getting a Wire Fox Terrier or who are new to owning a wire fox terrier to understand that you DO NO HAVE TO STRIP your wire fox terrier.

...That the message I want my readers to get...

The following website (Dog Breed Info) has good information about all sorts of breed dogs. Here they too mention a few facts of which I find some of it very interesting and some of it that I disagree with.

Dog Breed Info

If your Wirehaired Fox Terrier will be a pet, you can get away with brushing it with a firm bristle brush and bathing only when necessary. To keep the coat looking its best, it must be stripped several times a year and more frequently for show dogs. There is a complex show-grooming routine. Professional groomers have quite a bag of tricks to keep the Wire looking its best for the show ring. The Wire shed little to no hair and are good for allergy sufferers.

What do I not agree with?
My wft gives off loads of fluffy fine hair and I do no t agree that stripping must be done to keep the coat in top condition.

Source: Dog Breed Info

This is a post published in 1999. I find it to be very interesting but still dont believe that you MUST STRIP your modern wire fox terrier. These dogs have been around for just over a century now and 'self grooming' was never something they did and now dont do. Stripping is something the breeders have started to do, since breeding and showing dogs became part of our society.

Why it is wrong to clip a wire Fox Terrier

By G. Ranken MRCVS, Cand. Med. Vet

Canine hairs are slightly different from human. (No shit!) The dog has 2 kinds of hairs- primary hairs and secondary hairs .In the wire fox terrier the primary hairs are what we call the wire coat . These hairs consist as you can see from the diagram of a shaft of hair with it's root and it's appendages (such as a sebaceous gland and a sweat gland). These hairs are hairs that give the dog it's colouring-they are also very coarse in texture-hence the term "wire coat". For every wire hair there are a number of fine woollen hairs (or secondary hairs) that do not have their own separate root.Now if the wire fox terrier were still living in the wild (which it of course it isn't!!!) it would it's coat would moult approx 2 times a year....Just like many other wild animals the winter coat would give way for the summer coat . The dog would simply relieve itself of the old coat by brushing itself against the lower branches of bushes and trees -thereby the primary hairs are pulled out from the root to give way for the next coat . Now this natural removal of the winter and summer coats is imitated by the modern groomers . By "stripping" or "trimming" a coat - the groomer is simply helping to remove the old primary hairs to give way for the fresh new coat .

I do not know how many times I have heard pet wire haired terrier owners out of ignorance saying things like- "oh this is just a pet and not a show dog".....or "doesn't it hurt the poor dog to pull out the coat". Stripping a dog is simply helping the dog to do what it otherwise would have done out in the wild....
What people -and unluckily I have to include groomers here-do not realize that by clipping the dog instead of stripping it you are actually doing damage to the dogs future well being .
A number of things happen when a dog is clipped.

The roots and shafts of the primary hairs when cut are still left intact and stop the growth of the new coat. As the primary hairs are the colour bearing hair layer- the first thing the owner notices is that the coat goes pale and eventually turns completely white. (Ja right! dogs which are never groomed (stripped or clipped) will become woolly and white)
The next thing that happens is that the wool or secondary hairs take over.....the coat goes woolly like a warm eiderdown and very warm . You see, when the coat is stripped both primary and secondary hairs are removed and air can get to the underlying surface of the skin .This is now stopped. In warm climates or warm central heated houses this excess growth of wool causes hotspots and rashes to appear- which left untreated can develop into various serious skin conditions . In my experience incorrect grooming of terrier breeds is the most common cause of skin complaints . All simply because the normal micro climate down by the skin surface has been altered.
So no , stripping is not a procedure that is reserved for the few show dogs around but should really be done to ALL wire coated dogs . The correct procedure is to wait till the dog's coat is ready to be stripped (the coat is ready when it starts falling out on it's own and you can literally pull it out). Get it stripped and then get an after trim after about 6 weeks . By this time the new coat has started to come through and some of the superfluous secondary woollen hairs need to be removed to demonstrate the lovely new colour and coat coming through. Then sit back and wait till the next time the coat is ready to be pulled out- which is generally 4-5 months later. Again you know when it is time as the coat starts coming out.

Is it possible to strip a dog after it has been clipped several years?

Yes, These pictures show a dog that was clipped on the right-notice there is hardly any colouring left-the coat is curly and woolly. To the left after he was trimmed a couple of times the coat started to re-grow and restored to it's healthy state- and the colours came back too. It is however essential when the coat is as bad as above NOT to start trimming or stripping till the coat is really ready to be in this case you wait the necessary months till the coat starts coming out easily....otherwise it would be very painful for the dog .

Before (Notice how this dog is in serious need of just a groom)

After (Notice how the dog, since it was stripped, now has a different shape ear and the ear has miraciously gone from white to black, and his tail has now suddenly gone very straight too. Stipping does this to a dog?)

Again the above pictures are of the same dog (uhm, I dont think so! But then again - in 1999 nobody thought that the internet will let people start to think for themselves and not notice that these are in fact two different dogs. OK, ok, I get the point he tried to make. But if some of his article was not true, how much of the rest of his article is factual?) - before when he was clipped -as you see the coat is all white and woolly-and after he was trimmed back to his normal coat and the black saddle and brown head has returned. It is hard to believe isn't it?


Anyone keen to comment anonymously or fictitious emails / links will be deleted. I enjoy challenges, but mostly just want the truth to be told. None of my opinion is hearsay as you will notice from some of the many sources and facts of above. If you disagree with me, please give me factual information and not hearsay.

Thanks for reading this post.

(Normans Mom)