Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, February 27, 2016

MVNews this week:  Page 9



Mountain Views-News Saturday, February 27, 2016 


Happy Tails

by Chris Leclerc


Who loves to dance? Titan is a 3-year-old 
American Staffy mix who first came to the 
shelter in December of 2015 when he was picked 
up wandering the streets of Rosemead. Titan 
is a handsome young boy with golden brown 
eyes, long floppy Staffy ears, 
and a beautiful white-and-
brindle coat. He is friendly 
to people, rambunctious, and 
with a bit of an interest in 
silly-dancing. That’s Titan’s 
thing! At a moment’s notice, 
he will stand on his hind legs 
and offer his front paws for a 
dance… and he’s quite good 
on those hind legs.

 Weighing about 66lbs, he 
still has some youthful puppy-
energy in him and enjoys 
spending his time running, 
playing, and dancing with 
his human friends. He also 
must have a hint of feline 
in him because he loves to 
rub himself on people’s legs; 
although he hasn’t paired the 
rubbing with a purr. 

Titan is also a very intelligent 
young boy who knows how to sit and take treats 
from his friend’s hands. He would be the perfect 
companion for an active family looking for an 
exercise buddy to spend weekends exploring trails 
or dancing at home to the beat of Titan’s tune. 
Please stop by to meet Titan if you’re looking for 
a rambunctious pup to spend your life dancing 

 His adoption fee is $145 and includes neuter 
surgery, vaccinations, microchip and a free 
wellness exam at a participating veterinarian. 
Feel free to call us at (626) 286-1159 for more 
information on Titan. He currently resides 
at the San Gabriel Valley 
Humane Society located at 
851 E. Grand Avenue in San 
Gabriel. We are located off 
San Gabriel Blvd., north of 
Mission and south of Las 
Tunas. To arrange a ‘Meet 
and Greet’ with Titan, 
please stop by any time from 
10:30am to 4:30pm Tuesday 
thru Sunday. 

 If you are interested 
in meeting Titan, or any of 
the other wonderful pets 
at the shelter, visit the San 
Gabriel Valley Humane 
Society at 851 E. Grand 
Ave., San Gabriel, Calif., 
91776, Tuesday through 
Sunday from 10:30am to 
4:30pm. See our website 
at for 
information and photos of 
all our wonderful pets. 

 2016 calendars are available at the shelter for a 
$10 donation. The photos were selected among 
hundreds submitted by shelter supporters. If you 
would like to order a 2016 calendar on line, you 
can stop by the shelter or do so through PayPal. 
Go to the shelter website at for 
more information. 

I am ever in wonder over the extreme trait variations that 
exist from one breed of dog to another and I have such 
fun watching dogs of all different colors, shapes and sizes 
interact. For the most part, I notice that dogs of every 
kind, when treated humanely by the human are able to 
play nice and get along, regardless of their differences. 
Sometimes I find it hard to believe that two dogs could 
even be of the same species, yet they are. Take the Great 
Dane and the Pomeranian, for example. Could there be a 
more polar extreme within a given species? 

 The World Canine Organization (French title: 
Federation Cynologique Internationale or FCI), the 
largest registry of dog breeds accepted internationally, 
currently recognizes about 358 breeds worldwide. This 
is truly phenomenal when you consider the fact that 
they all originated from one - the wolf. What started 
out as a pretty predictable, “standard run-of-the-
mill” brownish-grey wild dog has now evolved (with 
much scientific intervention) into an array of 358(+/-) 
different breeds including every imaginable shape size 
and color, bred to meet a long laundry list of demands 
set forth by the human being.

 Physical attributes are one thing, but what I find 
interesting about our modern day wide variety is the 
behavioral traits that are typical for dogs of a given breed. 
Historically, performance was the main purpose for dog 
breeding, so if you needed help removing unwanted 
rodents from your ranch, you would want a fast, short 
dog. If you needed help herding you would want an 
attentive, intelligent large dog with loads of endurance.

 I was recently walking a tiny terrier named “Wal-E” 
along with his sweet, petite adopted sister, “Penny“. We 
were coming around the corner of the block where they 
live when we saw a neighbor walking in our direction 
with her three very large dogs. Wal-E got very excited 
and started barking and raising his back as the big dogs 
drew closer. I thought how funny it is that he feels the 
need to portray himself as such a tough guy to those 
big dogs, when in reality we all know he’s a precious 
sweet-pea who wouldn‘t hurt a flea. While it may seem 
somewhat peculiar to the average on-looker, Wal-E’s 
behavior actually makes total sense.

 What Wal-E may lack in physical stature, he makes 
up for in bravado. He seems to understand that because 
he is smaller, he must exhibit “big” behavior around 
larger dogs, perhaps as a defense mechanism - to make it 
clear that he has no fear. I guess you could say he has the 
canine equivalent to the human’s Napoleon complex. I 
personally think he’s one smart little pup 
with a strong will to live!

 Having spent countless hours observing 
my canine companions, and reading the 
writings of research psychologists, I’ve 
learned that there are very good reasons 
behind much of what dogs do and it 
behooves us to understand the motive 
behind the motion, if we wish to foster a 
healthy, safe relationship with our pets.

 Like Wal-E’s apparent Napoleon 
complex where having a small body 
comes hand-in-hand (or paw-in-paw) 
with a tendency to bark loud and puff up 
in the presence of big dogs, distinguished 
physical traits - color, shape or size - of bred dogs 
are typically accompanied by respective behavioral 
tendencies and the main reason for this is that they were 
bred for specific purposes to meet specific human needs.

 My friend has two Australian shepherds. Fortunately 
she is a smart lady. She did her homework before 
having pets, so she kind of knew what to expect from 
her two pups as they grow into adult dogs. Aussies were 
originally bred to herd sheep and cattle in wide open 
spaces and as a “side result” of behavioral breeding, they 
were blessed with the most gorgeous, colorful coat a 
dog could ever wish to have. Appearance seems to be 
what today’s average human looks for in a pet, with little 
knowledge of what to expect from the person inside. 
That’s why our shelters are full of pups hoping to find 
good homes before their time is up.

 So, back to the Aussie having been bred to herd. 
Now you’ve got a couple of them living in a relatively 
small house located in an intensive urban community 
with lots of traffic and limited wide open space. Hmm, I 
wonder what might happen to all those behavioral traits 
we bred into those dogs now?

 They’ll need a LOT of attention and daily exercise. 
They’ll need projects to keep them positively engaged, 
focused and occupied. They’ll benefit greatly from 
agility challenges as well as fetch and chase games. The 
demands are not unlike having twins! Keeping two 
Australian shepherds healthy and happy is a big job. 
And if they don’t get the proper attention, you can bet 
your butt They’ll let you know! We can’t get upset if 
they “act out” or “misbehave”, can we? We asked for 
it - we got it!

 It is so very important to understand the needs of the 
breed before you bring a dog into your home. I used my 
friend’s dogs as an example only because it was recent 
and convenient. It is actually a classic tale that most of 
us can relate to. There are more breeds than I can begin 
to name, each taking their turn at becoming the famous 
focus of a passing trend or favored flavor of the week, as 
it were. 

 Be aware of what your dog’s breed-needs are. Be 
patient. Do what it takes. And, for the love of all that 
is Holy, please stop shopping and start adopting. Dogs 
aren’t fashion accessories to be flaunted or magnets to 
get babes. They are precious beings with the capacity to 
feel love that they are willing to share unconditionally. 
We are their stewards. Take the time to understand 
them. Love and let live.

Encanto Equestrian Center 
3737 Encanto Parkway Duarte, CA. 
Beginners through Intermediate 
Horsemanship 101 Classes 
Summer Camps 
For rates and availability please call Julie Unamuno at 
626-278-9450 or 
Email her at: 
Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: