Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, January 3, 2015

MVNews this week:  Page 10



Mountain Views-News Saturday, January 3, 2015


Happy Tails

by Chris Leclerc

Looking For A Best Friend??

 To start the New Year with? 
Can you say “Fetch?” If you like 
to play with a happy, active dog, 
Hurley is the right one for you! 

Hurley is about 6 years old, and 
is being called a Chihuahua mix. 
He has very long slender legs, 
all the better to chase toys! He 
weighs around 14 pounds and 
has the most adorable under bite 
that gives him a very unique look. He is mostly 
tan, with some black ticking in his coat. His face 
has beautiful markings of both colors. His coat is 
short and easy to care for.

 When we first met Hurley, we thought he was a bit 
on the shy side, but once he felt more comfortable, 
he showed us what an outgoing guy he really is. He 
gets along well with his kennel mate, who also likes 
to run and play. Hurley is very fast to fetch his toy, 
and then will run and jump into a lap to keep his 
toy safe. He is very nimble and can easily jump on 
laps and chairs during playtime. At the shelter, we 
saw him jump onto a table where he happily landed 
in a container of dog sweaters and blankets – still 
holding his toy in his mouth! He is very focused!

 Hurley came to us from another shelter where 
he was famous for his fetching skills, and even has 
his own You Tube video. https://

 Hurley would bring joy to an 
active family who can give him 
the regular exercise and play time 
that he loves. He originally shared 
his home with another dog, so 
he would probably do well with 
another dog as a playmate. Hurley 
is a very sweet boy who deserves a 
wonderful home. Why not come in to meet him 
and see what a special dog he is?

 He currently resides at the San Gabriel Valley 
Humane Society located at 851 E. Grand Avenue 
in San Gabriel with his roommate. We are located 
off San Gabriel Blvd., north of Mission and south 
of Las Tunas. 

 To arrange a ‘Meet and Greet’ with Hurley, 
please stop by any time from 10:00am to 4:30pm 
Tuesday thru Sunday. 

 His adoption fee is $120 which includes his 
neuter surgery, a microchip, first vaccinations 
and a free wellness check-up at a participating 
veterinarian. Feel free to call us at (626) 286-1159 
for more information on Hurley. 

 See our website at for 
information and photos of all our wonderful pets. 


As a pet sitter in Sierra Madre, I spend a lot of my 
time hiking the hills and strolling the sidewalks of 
our small town with my furry, four-legged canine 
clients. On any given day, during the course of 
a dog walk in this tiny burg, it is not unusual to 
stumble across at least ten or twelve other dogs 
walking with their humans and of the several dogs 
I might come into contact with in such a short 
period of time, it is rare that any two are anything 

 The wide variety of colors, shapes, sizes and 
behavioral patterns among the many breeds in 
today’s society truly amazes me. My most recent 
internet search for how many dog breeds there 
are currently in existence rendered a result of 
181 purebred canine types registered with the 
American Kennel Club. If you add the list of un-
registered breeds that have been officially named 
and propagated throughout the US and other 
parts of the world, the total count comes to a total 
of 200+ recognized canine breeds and I must say, 
that blows my mind. Especially when you consider 
the fact that the variety of characteristics from one 
breed to another are the direct result of nothing 
more than a minute .2% genetic difference!

 For the past two centuries, man has been 
asphyxiated with the concept of breeding the 
“perfect” dog through the applied science of 
eugenics, the intentional practice of “improving” 
or somehow altering the genetic composition of 
a given population. In this case, the population 
happens to be the canine species, or what we dog-
loving Americans like to call “Man‘s Best Friend“. 
What lead to the human’s insatiable desire to create 
the ideal specimen of a dog? How did man come to 
rely on the canine to be his “best friend”? 

 There are various schools of thought on how 
it all came about, however a combination of 
extensive research & scientific studies have left 
little room for argument that the domestic dog 
that we are so familiar with, originated from the 
grey wolf, scientifically known as Canis lupus. The 
mainstream theory among most canine history 
research scientists is that man’s first one-on-one 
contact with the grey wolf occurred unintentionally. 
It is said to have happened sometime around 7000 
BC (+/-), when the human population began to 
grow, moving away from an extremely primitive 
way of life, to occupy previously un-developed 
territories where they built living structures and 
established unprecedented property perimeters 
between themselves. The grey wolf was already in 
residence in the forests and other natural pristine 
spaces where man made claim to the land as 
“home“, therefore the interface between the two 
species became inevitable.

 Remains of the earliest known domesticated 
dog, scientifically known as Canis lupus familiaris, 
were discovered at the Jaihu archaeological site in 
China, dating back to the early Neolithic period 
(7000-5800 BC). Needless to say, 
a lot of changes occurred between 
that time and two hundred years 
ago, when intentional breeding 
resulted in the various varieties 
of the domestic dog that we know 
and love today. By the early 17th 
century, the dog had become a very 
important part of everyday human 
life. In fact, without the assistance of 
the dog, one can’t help but wonder 
where man would be today, in terms 
of basic survival and “progress”. 

 During the early stages of canine 
breeding, the main focus was to 
develop a dog that would make life easier for 
the human. The hunting dog helped by keeping 
food on the table. Herding dogs helped control 
livestock, and perhaps the more loyal yet aggressive 
breeds served to protect the home and the family. 
Around the mid 19th century, man’s effort to 
refine the specific qualities and characteristics of 
the domestic dog had become far more focused on 
aesthetic values than practical needs, and by the 
turn of the twentieth century the dog had become 
well known as a symbol of social status.

 While the dog has proven to be man’s best friend 
over many years of change, man has proven to be 
somewhat less than a best friend to the dog. While 
the side effects of breeding were certainly not 
intentional, they definitely have taken their toll. 
One example of eugenics gone bad is in the case of 
the Dalmatian, sometimes known as the “Firehouse 
Dog”, mainly used as a carriage dog in it’s early 
days. The Dalmatian’s white and spotted coat are 
what set this breed apart from the others, however 
it is the white beneath the spots that is directly 
associated with it’s tendency for blindness due to 
a gene that will not allow vitamin A to nourish the 
retina. Other examples of experimental breeding 
side effects include hip dysplasia in the German 
Shepherd and obsessive compulsive disorder in the 
Bull Terrier. Eye & ear allergies in the Bloodhound 
are other examples of undesirable results of 
intentional breeding of dogs for a specific purpose. 
Yes, man has benefited immensely from the efforts 
made to create the perfect pup. But there has been 
a high price to be paid.

 Fortunately, there is a proverbial pot of gold at 
the end of the eugenic rainbow. Scientific research 
on how to reduce the side effects of breeding have 
had a double benefit to human society. By studying 
the problems that prevail as a result of canine 
eugenics, we are also learning how to treat some of 
the diseases that we as humans fall victim to. So, 
the dog has indeed been man’s best friend through 
thick and thin, from the beginning to the end. 
In earlier days, the dog helped us move from the 
“cave to the castle”, now it helps lend knowledge 
and understanding for our own health as human 

 I personally feel strongly about adopting and 
not shopping for domestic pets. I dream of a day 
when there will be less animals kept in cages until 
they are euthanized in shelters throughout our 
country. All the beautiful breeds are amazing to 
behold, but until we humans get a grasp on the 
responsibilities that come with that beauty, I 
believe we should refrain from breeding and focus 
on finding forever homes for the millions that 
are now being held captive behind bars, hoping 
someone will care enough to love them and give 
them a good life.

DogWalking & Sitting ServicesSierraMadre, Californiawww.canyoncanine.comchris@canyoncanine.comChris LeclercCanyonCanine626-355-8333 626-533-9536CCConCaCanyonCanineCanineeeieCCChris LeclercChris Leclercae,, CaliforCaalking&SonDogWWalking & Sitting ServicesonCa626-355-8333 62onCayeclercinnia6-533-95362eclerccanine.comanine.comani,CaliforirnanineSittingServiceseaninee