By your roving reporter – The Banker

I think I owe you all an apology……………I think I do…………and now I’m thinking……..

Yep……….I do??

I wanted to write this lot much earlier, but as much as I hate to admit it I’ve been working!!!!!!

Nevertheless, I do humbly apologise for the delay in completing this next episode of The Bankers Notes with a pitiful excuse of too many airports, too much travel and a heavy workload.

I hope this makes up for it!!!!!!!

Here goes…….this set of notes has two elements to it. The first is the below picture which was taken in our local town outside the papershop. And YES its genuine………….

Ridiculous but genuine. Or is it so ridiculous??

It is also a staggering coincidence given I had just written in the last lot of notes about the Spins questioning why we didn’t ‘go’ outside with them to go to the toilet. They couldn’t work out why we disappeared into a little room and came out later reasonably contented – OK OK so it was supposed to read reasonably relieved. Now before this goes downhill any further I shall move on and summarise the above later on in these notes – afterall, I had to buy the paper didn’t I???

The second element first saw the light of day following a conversation I was having with Her Highness of The Hill.

In summary we were discussing, almost sensibly!! The virtues of breeding Spins………..

And then it all got Scientific??? I happened to ask why dogs (in general) seemed to go for donkeys years with never a cold or a cough, a fit, or go lame or get cat flu or a sore throat. They didn’t get mumps, measles or rubella. They didn’t suffer from MAN FLU…..a particuarly debillitating virus!!! In fact the bloody things just never seemed to get anything wrong with them.

“Why is this oh great one”? I enquired………..

“Well” she started…….3 days later I emerged from the house dazed and weary.

On my travels some time later I saw on the front of a magazine cover (and this was a very serious magazine for very sensible people) the picture of a dog. Now there was something about this dog that did not look right. Yet the dog looked right???
Underneath the picture was a line of text - “What Dogs Tell Us”

I picked up the magazine and (as you do) flicked through it.

I bought 2 Bike magazines and a Hershey bar (Chocolate and Pecan)

Waiting to be called for the flight the magazine was bugging my brain cell. So I went back and bought it………typical woman thing really!! (Oh God that’s going to cause some controversey)
But more of that later…….just wanted to set the scene for part two!!!

And so back to the above picture!!!

Parental guidance recommended for the next bit….and make sure you’ve already eaten before you read on. It is after all my sense of humor at work here you know. And those who follow the Bankers Notes are already well aware of what that’s like

But the picture above ploughed into my humor cells like an Aston Martin DB S on steroids….

You have been warned:

I shall begin with the actual newspaper quotes from the piece that accompanied the picture.

“A dog walker has called for action against the ‘poopetrators’ of a spate of incidents where human faeces were discovered this month on footpaths and in woods around the town”

“Mr Smith (not his real name) regularly walks his dogs (two wire haired pointers – real dogs) around the town and has said that it is time the ‘disturbing’ issue is resolved following similar incidents earlier this year”

“The unwelcome deposits have been found along coastal footpaths and the areas of woodland”

Basically that is the background………but the article goes on!!

“I frequently encounter human faeces on our walks. I’m sure it’s human as there is often a piece of tissue or panty liner placed neatly on top” says Mr Smith.

“Disgusting and worrying problem” “Revolting behavior” then follows in the next couple of sentences. But it got me thinking?? (Oh no…… we go)

I was doing fine with the article until I got to the bit about the tissue or panty liner being placed neatly on top!! What an interesting observation I thought. How considerate of the poopetrators to have tried to cover up the evidence!!

Until I got to this bit……….

“It’s not actually me that finds the poop, it’s our dogs who gobble it down with gusto” he said

I naturally assumed that ‘Gusto’ was the gravy……..

“Later when we get back home they bring it up in our hallway for me to clean up. It’s not a job I particularly enjoy”.

By now you’re probably ahead of me here?? Why on earth let them eat it in the first place and then let them get home to regurgitate in the hallway?? I know I know……….they wait etc, etc.
But it did my imagination no good at all thinking of the poor Mr Smith cleaning up after the dogs have had their supper (or breakfast) – my God I bet they looked forward to that walk…Yummy.

Conspiracy theory at work here – or at least in my head there was because:

“For a while the pooping stopped, but now it’s started again and I for one, have had enough”
(Unlike the dogs who couldn’t get enough, and when they did they took it back home with them and proudly deposited it in the hallway) You can’t blame the dogs!!!!

“Police confirmed a report had been received, but added that the issue is not a police matter”.
No that’s absolutely true because we already know its human matter – or what’s left of it!!
If it had been me I would have presented them with the evidence and told the dogs we’ve moved house and this is their new hallway.

I bet the Police would have taken notice then and made it their issue!!!!!!

In a short statement the Ceredigion County Council said its Environmental Health Department is “currently investigating” the matter.

But in my view they should be investigating the currents in the matter!! They’ve got the resources:

CSI Ceredigion

Starring: Horatio Turdmeister as Captain Fearless Faeces

(Oh Dearest One? Could you call our lawyer now please)

And finally………

“I’m determined to do what I can to stop this antisocial behavior and not only because of my disgust at having to clean regurgitated faeces from our house yet again but there is a clear health hazard not to mention anyone unfortunate enough to pat our dogs before we’ve had a chance to disinfect them”

And I promise you that’s the actual words from the newspaper!!

And so if you’re out and about around our lovely fishing village, remember that if you smell freshly disinfected wire haired pointers – you can pat them. If you smell anything else you have a choice of 3 things to do??

1. Leave a tissue on them
2. Leave a panty liner on them
3. Walk away smiling like you’re chewing a wasp

Oh yea and one more thing?? Stay at Mr Smith’s front door……you don’t want to be invited in!!

Now, one thought I did have, was this? I wondered if he took poo bags with him and set an example to the poopertrators

Or, get the dogs to dig small holes… know, just in case. (Where’s our Rico)??

Or even, take the dogs on another route

And what about leaving toilet roll out for the poopertrators and a small bin

Now I know it’s not really funny but taking everything into account my advice is as follows:

a) I found it really ironic that WE as dog owners complain when we see other dog owners let their dogs strut their stuff – but don’t have poo bags on them to lift it and place in a nearby bin. And yet here we are complaining of humans strutting their stuff!!!!
Hypocritical or what…………………

b) Never write to a local newspaper and complain to raise your point or to get your message across. The article must have been written by a trainee journo with a bad hangover and in need of a couple of Paracetamol and a toilet.

c) Ensure all your human adult friends carry a toilet roll and panty liners on them along with poo bags and disinfectant (I might try that to see what airport security does)

“I might be gone for some time Dear”!!!! And if you get a phone call………….

OK – Part Two

“What Dogs Tell Us………”

Now at the very outset of this piece I want to acknowledge the following institutions because the actual scientific stuff is taken from the article and was provided by:

- The American Kennel Association
- Stanford University Genetics Department
- Cornell University Genetics Department
- The National Institutes of Health

Now I have added my comments to some of this and as you can imagine it’s NOT scientific!!

And NO? I can’t help it………it’s the way I am!!

And before I go and babble away I will say that the whole thing is really fascinating and if you want to read the actual article I can provide you with the details and / or you can borrow the magazine from the Educated One……….well, she is now!!!

Not that she was uneducated of course, what I meant was……..and where’s my JCB??

I need a bloody big hole……..

At the beginning of these notes I was saying that The Most Intelligent One and holder of an 11+ with honours and I (with no honour) were chatting away nicely about dog health, breeding and really interesting things like why do some dogs have a fit, why do some get bad backs or hip issues and so on………..

We decided that a lot of it was down to breeding, breeding carefully and with care and thought for the pair being mated………

Enter stage left and purely by coincidence my magazine…………..


“Dog Breeds were created by human beings”

We all know that the Spins were originally a cross breed mix to establish a dog that would detect its prey, hunt it down and then retrieve it for the owner. The classic HPR……..and today there are many breeds within the class of ‘Gun Dog’.

Now we all know these facts of course and it’s not a secret, nor is the history of the breed that is well documented and many of today’s lines can be traced back directly through generations. Indeed, we at home have charts of our dogs going back 5 generations. Let’s say 60 years of history………..

60 years. Not much when you say it quickly. There is of course a however to this fact?

However, and I quote “For reasons both physical and whimsical, man’s best friend has been artificially evolved into the most diverse animal on the planet – a staggering achievement, given that most of the 350 to 400 breeds in existence have been around for only a couple of years”

Now when you consider that we have charts tracing our own dogs back for say 60 years then that means we have 25% of their lineage covered already!!

Now I don’t know about you but I had never thought about how long dogs have been around or how many breed types there were so to see it in black and white really shocked me. I think it’s because of the ignorance factor. The Alligator and Crocodile have been around since the Dinosaur and I guess that the dog had been as well!!!

Now you could argue here that ancient Egyptian tombs have got carvings of dogs on them which means or implies that they were around long before. The Pharaoh Hound and Ibizan Hound are said to descend from these dogs found in tombs – but recent genetic research suggests that there placement are re-creations bred to resemble the ancient breeds.

An interesting and debatable thought

Or is it??

Canines were the earliest domesticated animal, a process that started somewhere between 20,000 and 15,000 years ago and most likely when grey wolves began scavenging around human settlements. Although experts differ on how active a role humans played in the next step, but eventually the relationship became a mutual one, as we began employing dogs for hunting, guarding and companionship.

So the ‘dog’ breed is way older than the couple of hundred years as noted above, and of course we all know that the dog are descended from the wolf with roots in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Now at this point there is a list of breeds, and these are genetically closest to wolves, suggesting they are the oldest domesticated breeds. Some of them in this group came as no surprise to me at all as to what they are: Akita, Alaskan Malamute, Siberian Husky, Afghan Hound, Chow Chow, Chinese Shar-pei, Saluki, and the Basenji which is one of the most ancient breeds…..and I didn’t know this, but it doesn’t bark!! There are others in the list but I took the core one’s as examples.

So now we know that today’s breeds are in fact relatively ‘new’ and we’ve cross bred them to suit a purpose. We also know that they are descended from the grey wolf which is indeed an ancient breed. And both exist today……although very sadly the wolf breeds are all on the endangered species list, a fact along with many hundreds of other animals, birds and fish.
It truly saddens me

Anyway, some time ago I was in China and one day when I was out the Northern Wilderness I came across a small dog that looked like a miniature Akita. I asked my translator to ask the owner what breed it was – A Shiba Inu I was told.

I never forgot that and wrote it down in my Great Wall of China book (I was on walkabout on it) and later discovered it was actually Japanese and is one of the very, very few ancient breeds left in existence in the world today. Now interestingly and although it needs further investigation it is said to have very few genetic problems leading to health issues. It was the ‘few genetic problems’ that caught my attention…………

Hundreds of genes interact to produce a physical trait in humans and most mammals. For dog traits, the magic number is usually 3 or fewer. For example only 3 genes produce the type of coat a dog wears, but mutations in these genes create a coat that’s long, curly and wiry or combinations.

If none of the three genes are mutated, then dog will have the short, smooth coat of say breeds like the Beagle and the Basset Hound.

Breeders have fast forwarded the normal pace of evolution by combining traits from disparate dogs and accentuating them by breeding those offspring with the largest hints of the desired attributes. But breeders gave no thought of course to the fact that while they coaxing such weird new dogs into existence, they were also tinkering with the genes that determine canine anatomy in the first place.

The vast mosaic of dog shapes, colours, and sizes is decided largely by changes in a mere handful of gene regions. For example the difference between the Dachshunds diminutive body and the Rottweiler’s massive one hangs on the sequence of a single gene. This is the opposite to the original scientific thinking that if you have such a dramatic diversity in breeding it would also have the same affect on the amount of genetic diversity. But it doesn’t…………..

A couple of hundred years ago or so, breeders seized on the diverse raw material they had around them when creating modern breeds. They tended to grab traits they desired from across multiple breeds – or tried to replicate mutations in the same one – in order to get the dog they wanted.
They also favoured novelty, since the distinct a line of dogs appeared the more likely it was to gain recognition as a new breed.

The Victorian breeders were very adept at crafting dogs to suit their tastes without knowing they were creating genetically isolated populations.

This science and the recent genetic findings have led to some interesting comparisons of some dog diseases that also inflict humans, like Cancer, eye disorders and epilepsy for example.

Now at this point it gets heavy (or heavier) going and leads me now to leave the subject as you have it above. It is of course just a summary of the actual article but it left me thinking…….
Even today, or rather more recently we still continue to cross breed and interfere with nature and if I’m not mistaken there was no such thing as a Labradoodle when I was growing up, yet it is now a recognised breed.

To a degree and going way back in history I could see the purpose of breeding guard dogs, hunting dogs and of course companion dogs. But apart from money, what is the point of fighting breeds?? We’ve all seen on the news and in papers what that leads to if you’re unlucky to be out and about and one of those breeds decides there is something about it doesn’t like……

And then there’s the Spinone, gentle, patience personified and a loyal old dog. Amazing senses and gentle, but does not do well if treated badly or shouted at…..sensitive it is. But very rewarding if you treat it right.

Whilst these Bankers Notes are a little different to my normal rhetoric of writing about ‘us’ and ‘ours’, I thought it worth it to give you something to think about. It certainly made me think…..

Take for example Freya’s Diary – for me that has actually been fascinating to write about because it records from birth onwards, for the first twelve months at least, how she has developed and some of the ‘traits’ she has as she has grown up. She’s still only 10 months old but even now following her diary you could see from early on what she was going to be good at and more importantly some of the things she would not be good at.

But despite being sensitive, gentle and patient I’m fascinated that sat next to me most of dogs don’t even flinch when the gun goes off…..if anything, it seems to switch a light on and they become alert and go into a sort of find it mode. Fascinating

I reckon Freya would make a damned good retrieve dog because she ‘quarters’ and does not give in. the trick has been to get the game from her. She brings it back, but slow and patient training has got her to release now as well. Freya ‘appears’ to compete with herself when retrieving a ball or a training dummy, she wants to be the first to get there, search out the ground and find it before the others. Although this sounds competitive I believe it’s not with the other dogs, she competes with herself in order to enhance the retrieve qualities………the liver cake reward helps!!

Well I’m done now and off to get a cup of tea. My brain cell is tired from being academic and all science type and I’ve overdone my capacity to be intelligent for any longer.

So for these notes, that’s it for now.

But don’t go away as I will be back soon with another set of notes and a surprising set for you that will, I’m sure, make you smile………you may even laugh a little!!!!!

This was your roving reporter with ALL the news that is the news across the nation…….

And next up we have the weather………..



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