All Things of Dogs

For unconditional love, there's nothing like a dog! Think dog things here…

Setters Not for Sitting

Mick, my part Irish Setter

In dogdom, Setters are one of three familiar dog breeds that assist hunters in the chase for a variety of game. Their job is to find game and get it into the air by chasing it out of its natural hiding places.

Setters are known for their spectacular coats. English Setters have beautiful, long coats of orange, lemon, blue, tricolor, or liver belton, and squarish heads. Belton describes a white ground coat with darker hairs intermingling throughout the dog’s appearance.

An Irish Setter has a flaming chestnut, or mahogany, color. He also can be red and white. Gordon Setters are black with tan markings.

A.= English Setters — of England; dating as long ago as 400 years
B.= Gordon Setters–of Scotland; as far back as 1620
C.= Irish Setters–of Ireland; early 18th Century

Photo of Mick from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg


Dream A Little Dream…

My little dreamer, Cee-Cee, is all tuckered out, and replaying her peanut butter adventure. View the entire story at Horses and Animals Are Talkin.


Photo from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

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Choose Your Dog


Facts and peculiar snippets on the canine world always fascinate! Did you know that Dalmatian puppies are born without spots? You do if you are a fan of the movie “101 Dalmatians”!

Try these multiple choice tests:
No.1 — Which breed of dog has a purple, sometimes almost black, tongue? (A>Pekingese) (B>Chow-Chow) (C>Boston Terrier)

No.2 — Which breed of dog is not recognized by the Kennel Club of Great Britain? (A>Snickerdoodle) (B>Chihuahua) (C>Irish Setter)

No.3 — Which country fostered this proverb about the dog: “The dog that’s always on the go is better than the one that’s always asleep”? (A>Ireland) (B>Brazil) (C>United States)

No.4 — Which dog is recorded as having rescued 40 persons from death by avalanche, assisted by monks? (A>”Rin Tin Tin”, before his TV stardom) (B>”Barry”, of St. Bernard, Switzerland) (C>Author John Grogan’s “Marley”)

No.5 — Now extinct in its own county, which dog has gained popularity in the West? (A>German Shepherd Dog) (B>Sussex Spaniel) (C>Chinese Crested Dog)

No.1 = (B>Chow-Chow)   No.2 = (A>Snickerdoodle)   No.3 = (A>Ireland)   No.4 = (B>”Barry”, of St. Bernard, Switzerland)   No.5 = (C>Chinese Crested Dog)

Photo from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg


Dogs and Humans — A Long Association


Some fun questions and answers regarding dogs and their humans:

No. 1 = Do you know how far back in human history the presence of canines has been recorded?

— Not until 1979, did evidence of dog-to-human companionship become revealed as a very long association. At that time, remains of domestic dogs were found in the Middle East. Skeletal remains were said to date as far back as 12,000 B.C.!

No. 2 = Did you know America far and away leads the world’s domestically-kept dog population?

— Generally, at any given time, the United States records over 50 million pet dogs among its populace to second place Britain’s less than 10 million canine companions.

No. 3 = Do you know where the phrase, “I’ve got to see a man about a dog”, originated?

— In a play, “Flying Scud”, by Dion Boucicault, a fellow accused of forgery and trying to avoid the lawyer who is his accuser, uses those words to make his escape from the conversation. The phrase was repeated by the play’s audience, and then the general public, thereafter. (There’s also evidence that the word “dog” may have been “horse”!)

Photo from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

If We Could Be Like Dogs


If we could be like dogs — lovers unconditional — the world would be a better place. A dog uses God’s credo — love all others first.

Although massive in stature, the Newfoundland breed (ABOVE), nicknamed Newfie, is one of the kindest and most gentle of dogs. Their need to bond with humans is astounding. Water dogs by nature, they are taught to help their humans in water-related tasks, as well as to rescue humans in peril in the water, but their instinct to rescue is way ahead of any instructor.

And the unconditional love a dog expresses toward his “owner” is way ahead of many expressions from the human race.

Lord Byron (George Noel Gordon, 1788-1824), the British poet, said of the dog “…he has all the Virtues of Man, without his Vices”. That was part of the tombstone eulogy for his deceased Newfie, Boatswain, whom he also said had “Beauty without Vanity” and was a better friend to him than any man he’d known.

Photo (Ebony, the author’s female Newfie, 1998-2009) from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

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Show It Dogs


ABOVE: Yes, Ebony, my Newfoundland female (1998-2009) did have a tail! It’s actually hanging to the side, toward the camera, here; look closely.

My contention is solid that a dog’s love of the human race isn’t prompted by his pure breed, or mutthood. Dogs are champions of love. Love the dog; he loves you! It’s simple and unconditional.

However, did you know there is a definite difference in the canine show rings of America and Britain in regards to a dog having the word Champion (Ch) placed with his name?

Britain and America have slightly different rules when it come to naming a dog a show Champion. In Britain, a dog must win three Challenge Certificates in three different shows from three different judges to earn the Champion moniker that precedes his show name.

An American Champion is determined when the dog has accumulated 15 points, earned on a one- to five-point system scale in each show he enters. Only one female and one male in each American show may earn points.

Most breed dogs have a history that led to their name. For instance, the Newfoundland took the name of its original country, Newfoundland. Terrier is the origin of “terra”, which in Latin translates to “earth”. Therefore, the Terrier dog derived his breed name, since he is one who “goes to earth” to hunt prey such as foxes, rabbits, and badgers.

Most Mutthoods, like my current pal, Cee-Cee, just answer to the call, “Hey, you”, and are happy to do it!

Photo from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

Haiku for…Freedom

*** A Freed Dog ***


Past restraining doors,
inside the dog park off leash,
to romp with best friends.

Into the bright day,
leaving rules out and behind.
Obey the spirit.

Caring for nothing
but the freed moment in time.
Freedom becomes me.


Photo and Haiku from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg
(Pictured: the author’s dog, Cee-Cee)


Newfoundland Dog Origins


The official AKC’s “The Complete Dog Book” describes the Newfoundland dog as having “impressive physical power and (an) attractive disposition”. I found that to be completely true of Ebony, pictured ABOVE with my (then) eight-year-old granddaughter. As you can see, both are smiling. They grew up together and were fast pals.

Newfoundlands are certain to have originated in the country of Newfoundland. While their dominant breed origins is disputable and continues to be heavily debated, it is agreed that they are descendants of British dogs.

Can you name the dominant canine breeds that claim the Newfoundland as a descendant?

They are:

  • Great Pyrenees
    possibly the Boarhound (a French breed)

Some specific traits of the Newfoundland also include those of breeds other than the three in discussion.

One thing is absolutely (well, almost) certain — if you have a Newfie, this water rescue-oriented gentle giant will pull you out of your backyard swimming pool!

Photo from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

Dog Lessons


Lots of things in life are good, like ice cream! Yum!

My Newfie, Ebony (1998-2009) particularly enjoyed the treat after a swim in Lake Erie at Port Clinton, or Marblehead Lighthouse State Park miles across the lake from the amusement park, Cedar Point. Ebony would spend the entire afternoon swimming, fetching, and playing in the water. There was no end to her enthusiasm for water.

The amusing part of that fact is that I had to work to introduce her to water when I adopted her in 1998. Apparently, she never had experienced the joy of swimming when I met her at the local Humane Society. She was barely a year old, had strayed unidentified from some compound.

My love of the water quickly transferred to her as she became my life-long adoptee. Her joy was doubled when I also introduced her to ice cream.

We can learn from a dog the joy of love and loyalty, and to grin when we’re happy (hopefully without drooling!)

Photo (Ebony, a female Newfoundland) from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

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