your roving reporter – The Banker
I think I owe you all an apology……………I
think I do…………and now I’m
wanted to write this lot much earlier, but as much as
I hate to admit it I’ve been working!!!!!!
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.
hope this makes up for it!!!!!!!
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………….
but genuine. Or is it so ridiculous??
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
second element first saw the light of day following a
conversation I was having with Her Highness of The Hill.
summary we were discussing, almost sensibly!! The virtues
of breeding Spins………..
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.
is this oh great one”? I enquired………..
she started…….3 days later I emerged from
the house dazed and weary.
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
Underneath the picture was a line of text - “What
Dogs Tell Us”
picked up the magazine and (as you do) flicked through
bought 2 Bike magazines and a Hershey bar (Chocolate and
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
But more of that later…….just wanted to set
the scene for part two!!!
so back to the above picture!!!
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
the picture above ploughed into my humor cells like an
Aston Martin DB S on steroids….
have been warned:
shall begin with the actual newspaper quotes from the
piece that accompanied the picture.
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”
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
unwelcome deposits have been found along coastal footpaths
and the areas of woodland”
that is the background………but the article
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.
and worrying problem” “Revolting behavior”
then follows in the next couple of sentences. But it got
me thinking?? (Oh no……..here we go)
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!!
I got to this bit……….
not actually me that finds the poop, it’s our dogs
who gobble it down with gusto” he said
naturally assumed that ‘Gusto’ was the gravy……..
when we get back home they bring it up in our hallway
for me to clean up. It’s not a job I particularly
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.
theory at work here – or at least in my head there
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
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.
bet the Police would have taken notice then and made it
a short statement the Ceredigion County Council said its
Environmental Health Department is “currently investigating”
in my view they should be investigating the currents in
the matter!! They’ve got the resources:
Horatio Turdmeister as Captain Fearless Faeces
Dearest One? Could you call our lawyer now please)
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”
I promise you that’s the actual words from the newspaper!!
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??
Leave a tissue on them
2. Leave a panty liner on them
3. Walk away smiling like you’re chewing a wasp
yea and one more thing?? Stay at Mr Smith’s front
door……you don’t want to be invited in!!
one thought I did have, was this? I wondered if he took
poo bags with him and set an example to the poopertrators
get the dogs to dig small holes…..you know, just
in case. (Where’s our Rico)??
even, take the dogs on another route
what about leaving toilet roll out for the poopertrators
and a small bin
I know it’s not really funny but taking everything
into account my advice is as follows:
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…………………
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
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)
might be gone for some time Dear”!!!! And if you
get a phone call………….
– Part Two
Dogs Tell Us………”
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
I have added my comments to some of this and as you can
imagine it’s NOT scientific!!
NO? I can’t help it………it’s
the way I am!!
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!!!
that she was uneducated of course, what I meant was……..and
where’s my JCB??
need a bloody big hole……..
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………..
decided that a lot of it was down to breeding, breeding
carefully and with care and thought for the pair being
stage left and purely by coincidence my magazine…………..
Breeds were created by human beings”
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’.
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………..
years. Not much when you say it quickly. There is of course
a however to this fact?
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”
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!!
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!!!
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
interesting and debatable thought
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.
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.
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
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
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…………
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.
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.
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.
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…………..
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.
Victorian breeders were very adept at crafting dogs to
suit their tastes without knowing they were creating genetically
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
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.
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……
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.
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…..
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
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!!
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.
for these notes, that’s it for now.
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…….
next up we have the weather………..