Motorcycles and Pets – Can They Go Together?

We’ve all seen those videos or news segments about motorcycle riding dogs. Typically, their owners perch them on the handlebars, in their laps or in a sidecar. You may be wondering, how safe is it? Can I take my dog on my motorcycle rides? The answer isn’t a simple yes or no though. The answer is basically, sometimes, yes, you can take your pet along with you. However, in some situations, it can be downright dangerous, for both you and your dog. Let’s get to the bottom of this, shall we?

Most motorcycle enthusiasts would love to take their dog on a ride. There are certainly ways and situations where you can do this. But pay attention to these tips:

The Right Time

Just like with humans, there are times of the day or times of the year when it is less safe or not safe at all to ride you motorcycle with your dog tagging along. Unsafe times include storms, especially thunderstorms. Most dogs are sensitive to the sound of thunder, therefore it is critical that you avoid riding during these times. In a thunderstorm, your dog may jump off your bike, even if you have them in a harness or sidecar. Don’t take a chance! In addition, you’ll want to watch the weather reports in your area to see if there is even a chance of thunderstorms, then you’ll be prepared in case you run into one and need to get off the road with your dog.

Types of Rides

The type of ride is also critical when deciding whether to ride with your dog. If you are on a motorcycle rally, and your dog is sensitive to certain types of people or other dogs that may be riding with their owners, then it may not be a good idea to ride with them. In addition, riding in the city, you may have to stop at stoplights with lots of other cars near you. What if one of these vehicles has a cat or dog in it? How will your dog react? You must think ahead regarding the different types of situations you will encounter on your ride and make a safe choice for you and your dog.

Safety Equipment

Did you know that there is actually specialized safety equipment available for you to take your pets along on your motorcycle ride? Yes, there is! Amazingly, you can now find helmets and goggles for dogs of just about any size. Incredible, isn’t it? In addition, you can find special carriers for different sized dogs. Some small carriers for small dogs have padding and leather exteriors, and attach to your bike like a saddlebag. There are also special harnesses and even pads that fit over the gas tank available.

Nowadays, you CAN take your pets along for the ride, as long as you take all necessary safety precautions.

Greater Swiss Mountain and Pet Assisted Therapy

It is very important for us to know that Greater Swiss Mountain and Pet assisted therapy are interlinked and can play a major role in patient’s recovery or cure. A Pet assisted therapy is a type of therapy that involves a pet with specific characteristics becoming a fundamental part of a person’s treatment. This therapy is designed to improve the physical, social, emotional, and/or cognitive functioning of the patient, as well as provide educational and motivational effectiveness for participants. In this case, the participants would be the Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs.

It was back in 1976, when Elaine Smith, a registered American nurse noticed how well patients responded to visits by a certain chaplain and his canine companion. He started a program for training dogs to visit institutions. Over the years, other health care professionals noticed and documented the therapeutic effect of animal companionship, such as relieving stress, lowering blood pressure, and raising spirits. In recent years, therapy dogs have been enlisted to help children overcome speech and emotional disorders. This therapy helps in utilizing animals as a therapeutic modality to facilitate the healing and rehabilitation of patients with acute or chronic diseases.

Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs are intelligent, alert, strong, gentle and friendly to all. Therefore, they are a great help in pet assisted therapy. They have gained this reputation by participating in dog sports like tracking, drafting, carting, herding and rally. Plus, they have always been known to accompany their masters on any expedition they went. The pet assisted therapy is a tool that helps the animal or the pet to socialize. Because of the friendly nature of Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs, they are allowed among children and patients. However, one has to keep a close watch because their big size might harm someone unintentionally. Still, socialization reduces the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog’s defensive aggression, i.e. the tendency to bark at every other stranger.

Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs therapy helps in various ranges of motion, strength and endurance, balance and mobility and sensation. The patient also receives psychosocial benefits such as building rapport, increasing self-esteem and motivation and stress reduction. It is very important for the safety of the patients to note that the animals instinctively react in a safe, predictable way during therapy.

In order to prepare the Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs for pet assisted therapy, it is necessary for every dog to through a temperament test. Next, a veterinary screening is done, after which the dog gets the obedience training before making him work with the patients.

Pet assisted therapy offers numerous advantages which are available through other therapies as well. Yet, in this era of advanced managed care and cost reduction, this cheaper therapy is being preferred in hospitals and medical care centers as one animal can provide numerous benefits, thus, cutting down the cost.

Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs used in pet assisted therapy should be certified by an organization that provides:

Required ongoing education to the animal and owner

Liability insurance covering the animal and owner during volunteer activities.

After receiving all the above information, if you plan on conducting a Pet Assisted Therapy program, you should make sure that your pet is properly trained, and that the trainers who will be training the dogs are well educated and experienced.

Symbols of Anarchy

There are many symbols of anarchism including cats that have been used over the years to identify and rally supporters for a cause. The cause is usually a protest or political movement against current conditions. With the increase in anti-globalization recently, the symbols of anarchy are starting to reappear.

The black cat was designed by Ralph Chaplin, a prominent figure of the IWW, also known as the Wobblies. The movement started in 1905 and continued through the early 1920’s until it was suppressed by the Justice Department under J. Edgar Hoover. It signified wildcat strikes and radical unionism. The symbol has also been associated with witchcraft, bad omens and death.

The black flag has been a symbol of anarchy since the 1880s. It symbolizes defiance and opposition to surrender. The flag has been used by groups opposed to representation. The black flag has also been used in many protests against oppression. It was used by pirates to indicate the lives of a crew would be spared if they surrendered. It was also used during the French and Russian Revolutions by certain protest groups. It is still used today by anarchical movements.

The circled A, where the A stands for anarchy, is one of the best known present day symbols. It was developed by Giuseppe Fanelli, a Freemason, in 1868 and later adopted as a symbol of anarchy. The symbol became a part of the punk rock movement in the 1970’s. It was used by the band, Sex Pistols, to signify the punk rock style of music. Although used as a marketing ploy, it increased the awareness of anarchy.

The black cross is a symbol representing a movement to eliminate all prisons. The symbol originated in Russia to support political prisoners. It was adopted by anarchists to signify unity of purpose. The cross was modified from the symbol for the Red Cross to avoid confusion with the Red Cross. It has been associated with black power, women’s lib, youth power and the American Indian Movement.

Known as a symbol of piracy, the jolly roger or the skull and cross bones has gained popularity as a symbol of anarchy. Originally used by the Libertatain pirates, it signifies a pirate’s way of life free from repressive societies. It has gained popularity with many anarchical movements.

The anarchist symbol, circled A, with a V represents the political philosophy of animal liberation. The philosophy also known as veganism excludes the use of animals for food, clothing or other uses. It was popularized in 1995 by Brian Dominick and is used by animal rights groups. People who actively support this movement are against killing any animal and have strict vegetarian diets.

Other symbols of anarchy not shown above are the wooden shoe, black rose and bisected flags and stars. Each symbol has been used to represent a political movement or protest throughout the world. Depending on the cause, an organization will adapt or create a symbol that best represents it’s philosophy.

Is a Boston Terrier The Perfect Dog For You?

Not surprisingly, the Boston Terrier is the state dog of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. They are thought to have a humble beginning, bred solely as pit fighters in the stables of Boston. A cross between English Bulldog and the now extinct English Terrier with a little French Terrier thrown in, they were quite formidable as ferocious fighting dogs.

It did not take long before they became popular with wealthy Boston Brahmins. Eventually, the fight was bred out of them, to make them companion dogs and family pets. Gaining their nickname as the American Gentlemen, because they look like they are formally dressed in a tuxedo, they were THE dog to be seen with during the Roaring Twenties. Extremely fashionable as family pets and companions until the 60’s, Bostons are rapidly climbing back in popularity like the adorable, little champs they are.

The most common colors found among Bostons are seal, brindle, black and white, and any combination of the four colors. The majority proudly sport a white chest, resembling a tuxedo shirt.

This small, stocky, muscular dog weighing between 10-25 pounds, is in the Non-Sporting group. They are in the Mastiff family. These mini-Mastiffs share many common personality and temperament traits of their gentle giant cousins.

In general, Bostons are highly intelligent and easy to train. Some can be stubborn, but their willingness to please their owners is normally so important to them, you can make them come around to your way of thinking by using a calm tone of voice. To avoid Small Dog Syndrome, establish and maintain your status as leader.

It is recommended to get a Boston into positive reinforcement, punishment free Puppy Kindergarten and socialization classes at an early age. They will absorb obedience training and socializing like little sponges. This is especially important if you have children and other pets. For the most part, Bostons love everyone. They are a fantastic family pet. With adequate training and socialization, they normally get along well with other dogs and small animals. However, some males can be territorial and protective. Nevertheless, if properly trained he should respond to corrections immediately.

Bostons are a favorite of older owners who appreciate their gentle, yet clownish antics and faithful companionship. Being a small dog that does not have a reputation for being a yappy barker, they are quite welcome and comfortable in an apartment or condo.

Typical of many small breeds, they can be a challenge to housebreak. Be patient, fair, firm and consistent. They will catch on.

As they do have a short coat and are brachycephalic; Greek meaning “short head,” they are sensitive to temperature extremes. Bostons are not a dog to toss out alone in the backyard for hours. Even though they thoroughly enjoy long, brisk walks and interactive playtime with you to burn off excess energy; like most proper Bostonians they would much rather be indoors than outdoors. This is not a breed that normally requires hours of daily exercise. They would much rather spend that time learning something, like tricks. They usually excel in agility rallies, flyball and obedience competitions.

Most of the health problems Bostons suffer involve their beautiful, large, dark eyes. They include: juvenile and adult cataracts, cherry eyes, endopian, districhiasis, corneal ulcers, glaucoma, corneal dystrophy, and dry eyes. Other health issues may include: allergies, heart murmurs, seizures, patellar luxation, deafness, gastrointestinal problems, hypothyroidism, megaesophagus, tracheal collapse, tumors and obesity.

In addition to reverse sneezing, Bostons are known for doing three things like champs. They are snoring, snorting and farting! Watch their diet and don’t overfeed them! They have a reputation for being non-stop eating machines.

Ask Boston owners to describe their pets. As their eyes light up you will hear: fun, silly, stubborn, friendly, loves everyone, great with other animals, loyal, alert, gentle, doesn’t bark much, cute, a character, busy, happy, quiet, smart, clownish, docile, affectionate, loves attention, devoted and devilish. What most appreciate is as active as they are outdoors; indoors they are relatively inactive, unless performing for your amusement.

Being a shorthaired breed that sheds minimally, they are easy to groom. A quick wipe with a damp towel and brushing; viola, you are done! Check their ears and clip their nails regularly.

This is a long-lived breed. Boston Terriers have been known to live over 15 years.

Bottom line: Do your homework. Research the breed. Talk to Boston Terrier owners. This is a wonderful pet for the right person or family. Run; do not walk away from puppies at pet stores, classified ads and flea markets. They only perpetuate horrifying puppy mills and sloppy, inexperienced backyard breeders. It may cost a bit more, but a reputable, responsible breeder is your best bet for a healthier, happier dog. If you cannot afford a good breeder, check with shelter and rescues. As Bostons are so popular with older owners, many are surrendered because of nothing more than life circumstances. You just may find your new best friend there, patiently waiting for you and a forever home.