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Everything posted by cimawr

  1. Erm - you do know who STARTED this thread, right?
  2. Erm... you have that sort of backwards. Pica means having a craving and eating non-food items; depending on what's being eaten, it's a symptom of a number of different disorders, some psychological, some physical. IIRC, pica also refers to a type size (as in the size of characters on a screen or in print)...
  3. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but considering this dog's breed and the behaviour he's showing when seeing other dogs, I urge you to think very, very hard about whether you want to take on both a liability and life-long management of a dog-aggressive dog. SOAPBOX MODE ON: The vast majority of Pit Bulls are wonderful, friendly, loving dogs - with PEOPLE. Until very recently, they were always selectively bred to have almost NO aggression towards humans, and most of them retain that instinct. However, they were ALSO specifically and selectively bred for the purpose of fighting and killing other dogs, and NO amount of training will remove the instinct. If well-trained from puppyhood, and handled by VERY EXPERIENCED people who know how to read the dog's body language (Pits often don't "signify" when they attack other dogs), they can be prevented from *acting* on the instinct, but it is there and must always be considered. Most Pits don't attack *every* dog they see, but some will; some are fine with select dogs they know, some are fine with all dogs under a certain size, etc. But every responsible & educated Pit owner I know, as well as every respectable Pit Bull rescue organization, will tell you that you should NEVER trust a Pit not to fight. It's exactly the same as always needing to be aware that Beagles mayl chase rabbits, Jack Russells may kill small prey animals and harass larger ones, Greyhounds will run, etc. It doesn't make them bad dogs, it simply makes them animals doing what they were created to do. The issue, of course, is that in the case of Pit Bulls, the instinctive behavior is extremely dangerous to other people's pets. Given that this dog is an intact adult male who has been running loose, and that he is showing intent focus on other dogs, odds are very high that he is already "turned on" to the desire to fight other dogs. If you want to keep him, again, you need to be prepared to take that extremely seriously. I would strongly suggest immediately investing in a break stick: Break Sticks And here are some links for you to educate yourself about the breed; the websites are well-known and respected organizations which deal with Pit Bull rescue: Pros and Cons of owning a Pit Bull - scroll down to the section highlighted in grey PBRC This page is about living with more than one Pit, but has good tips on how to forestall fighting: Living with multiple pits Pit Bulls at Dog Parks As well as a quote from one of the pages (for those who might argue the above): "Never trust a pit bull not to fight. It is not a hate of other dogs that causes pit bulls to fight, but rather an "urge" to do so that has been bred into the dogs for many generations. Pit bulls may fight over hierarchic status, but external stimulus or excitement can also trigger a fight. Remember that any canine can fight, but pit bulls were bred specifically for their drive, intensity, and determination to win. Pit bull owners must be aware of the remarkable fighting abilities these dogs posses and always keep in mind that pit bulls have the potential to inflict serious injury to other animals. A pit bull may not even be the one starting a conflict, but he has the genetics to finish it. Remember that pit bulls are almost always blamed no matter who initiated the hostilities, and often end up paying the price...as does the owner!." SOAPBOX MODE OFF.
  4. Yep, I saw that, and agreed. And yep again. I HAVE used my feet on other people's dogs, although to protect my dogs rather than myself. I have also picked dogs up (by the scruff and either the tail or the loose skin over the tail) and thrown them,and/or yanked them up by their collars and marched them to their owners with their forefeet up off the ground. My response to objections is that I don't appreciate being forced to control their dogs, and that if they had bothered to control the dog themselves, I wouldn't have had to do it. On other occasions, I've told people in no uncertain terms that if they allow their dog to continue or repeat a behaviour, I'll be forced to control the dog, and neither they nor the dog is going to like what I'll do- so I suggest they do all of us a favor and control the dog themselves. Mind you, I reserve those responses for dogs that are actually going after one of my dogs or other dogs at the park, and/or which have repeated an obnoxious behaviour several times with no effective correction or attempt at control from the owner - and normally only after trying a more tactful response first. However, I long ago decided that I'd rather be blunt, and have someone think I'm a nasty mean person, than err on the side of "nice" and allow really obnoxious or dangerous behaviour to escalate into injury to my dogs, other dogs, or people. My responses also depend on whether or not the dog owner *recognizes* the issue and is making efforts to change it. If someone's genuinely making an effort to train or retrain a dog, my first response is going to be to offer help. Yep. Which is why I let the owner of the Bernese have both barrels WRT the fact that if her dog had knocked me down and broken my arm or given me a concussion, or worse, it really wouldn't matter how "friendly" he was, now would it? It was a she, and as noted above, she GOT a good verbal cluestick beating. Haven't ever seen her at the park since, either. He didn't precisely jump up - he charged at me and LAUNCHED himself horizontally at my chest. I'm under 5' tall, and at the time weighed 102. Had he made contact as intended, I would have been knocked down hard on an uneven macadam path. However, fortunately, I was not only able to read the dog's intention, but to step back at the last second and send him flying with a hard knee in the chest. Not tooting my own horn, it just happens that I practiced judo for 15+ years, AND I've been training dogs since I was about 11 & I worked for a number of years exercising, training, and handling other people's dogs... so I had considerably better than average skills for handling the situation. The owner was VERY lucky that it *was* me that it happened to, although she probably didn't think so while I was telling her off. I work very hard to teach my dogs to have good manners (both of my current dogs, incidentally, are shelter adoptees who had "issues"), and nothing ticks me off more than clueless eejits who give all dog owners a bad rep. As a side note, in response to a couple of other comments in this thread... the obed. instructor at the facility where I originally trained for agility tells all her beginning students that one of the WORST things you can do for your dog, and for dog owners in general, is to ASSume that everyone will love your dog as much as you do. I put it on command. I have one dog who learned to jump before I got her; I trained her to ask permission, and she now never jumps up on anyone she doesn't know very well. As a general comment, IMO the appropriate response to being jumped on by a *puppy* is not to use one's knee, but to turn away and ignore, then turn back, pet, and praise as soon as the pup's feet hit the ground again. Rinse, lather, and repeat as often as needed. If you don't like dogs & don't want to pet, just keep turning away, and ask the owner to please get their dog (if they aren't already doing so). Puppies jump to get attention, and it's ridiculously easy to teach them to keep their feet on the ground if you remove the attention when they jump, and immediately return it while feet are on the ground. I have taught innumerable puppies at the park not to jump on me in less than 2 minutes. Ditto that, if you're ever in the vicinity of NE Maryland (Cecil County, which borders both PA and DE) or near Baltimore.
  5. I noticed that, as well - OP doesn't get the response he wants in the orginal forum and thread, so he says "the issue is closed"... and then promptly restarts the issue in another. The other things that amused me about the claim that the reviewers were "discriminating" because he's new were : 1. He's conveeeeenietly neglected to mention, in either the rants... err, threads, that I've read, that despite having only been geocaching for two weeks, and having found less than 20 caches, he HAD two caches approved and being found by others. I guess he doesn't realize that we can go look at his profile and see the caches... as well as the fact that he's disabled them out of spite. 2. A friend of mine recently had her first cache approved when she'd been caching for about 2 months, and had a total of, IIRC, 12 finds. Her reviewer questioned the placement, she had a civil exchange of e-mails with him, and the cache was approved. What's both funny and ironic about that WRT the OP's blather is not only that her cache was approved when she was so new (thereby disproving the OP's claims of "bias"), but that her reaction to being quesitioned etc. was FAR more mature.... despite the fact that she's in middle school. (Yes, I'm friends with someone 30 years my junior. )
  6. If you think this thread is weird, go read the one he started last week in the Northeast forum. WRT age, he's certainly ACTING like a young teenager, including spitefully disabling the two caches he DID get approved, and which other cachers were enjoying. And that's something of an insult to young teens; my S.O.'s kids are not quite 14, and neither of them would act like that, nor would my sister's kids have behaved that way at that age (well, outside of sibling squabbles and the like ).
  7. Ok, what's with the "breedism"??
  8. No, it wasn't. I read the post before it was edited, and it said the same thing it does now - that the dog momentarily jumped up at a teenager, that the owner immediately controlled the dog and apologized, and that the mother went wierd AFTER the fact, apparently on the seeing a faint mark left by the dog's toenails. Sorry, but that's completely irrelevant to this incident. The person was NOT bitten. The "incident" was a matter of having a friendly - albeit not well-trained - dog jump up on her momentarily, apparently making inadvertent contact with its toenails. If the dog had scatched her badly, continued to jump, knocked her off balance or over, etc., OR if the owner had not immediately controlled the dog and apologized, there might have been some basis for people getting upset. And to make my position clear: Yes, I'm a dog owner. Yes, I walk my dogs off leash. Yes, my dogs hunt. However, I also TRAIN my dogs - in addition to having taught them good everyday manners, they are also champion agility competitors - and I have LESS patience with irresponsible dog owners than many people who don't own dogs at all.
  9. It would be completely unacceptable. And as a side note, that's the exact point I used when telling off the owner of the Berner who launched at me from 3 feet away. However, I'm willing to bet that: A, an elderly person frail enough to break a hip by falling over would NOT choose to go geocaching in the location where the OP and her friend encountered the cachers B, that if the OP and her friend were in an area where they DID encounter someone that frail, the dogs would either be on leash or would be called and leashed before the dog that jumped would or could do so. You are making a major mistake in projecting the actions of *some* irresponsible dog owners onto ALL dog owners who allow their dogs off-leash in acceptable places.
  10. Since the dog had the legal right to be off leash there, whether the statement is correct or not is immaterial. And unless you're a vegan who also wears and uses no leather, you have no room to talk. Non-sequiter. Cute and friendly have no relation to the level of the dog's prey drive. My Jack Russell Terrier was about the cutest AND about the friendliest dog you could ever meet. She adored children, the smaller the better- AND had very good manners when greeting them. She was also a dedicated and skilled hunter and killer of vermin. Conversely, many dogs which are dangerously aggressive towards humans have NO interest in hunting. Aggression and prey drive are NOT the same thing. Do you read for comprehension? The dog was off leash in a legal off-leash area, and the "child" was a teenager. Many responsible dog owners let their animals "chase wildlife" when and where it is appropriate. Chasing rabbits and squirrels while on an off-leash walk is not at all the same thing as running deer. And running deer a short way is not the same thing as hunting them. And you can't draw the conclusion that they "can't prevent their dogs from jumping on people" from the facts presented. The OP clearly stated that they encountered the people unexpectedly, and that the dog was quickly controlled. Had they seen the people there, they might very well have been able to prevent the dog jumping. In any case, once again, the dogs were LEGALLY off leash on private property, so you're doing nothing but making yourself look silly with this off-kilter rant.
  11. Sorry, but that's not necessarily the case. 1. Some dogs show their teeth when they're playing, so teeth showing don't automatically equate to "dog wants to do harm". 2. Dogs who show their teeth to menace don't usually do it when RUNNING; they approach slowly. 3. Many dogs DON'T show teeth when approaching with intent to do harm. I, personally, am far more concerned about a dog which approaches with an intent stare and hackles up than one which is showing teeth. Not if it's a properly trained dog, it's not. While I agree that a hip-check or knee is the appropriate response to being charged and jumped on by an obnoxious dog, it's just as possible that the dog's owner will respond by screaming at you for "kicking their dog" because "he just wanted to play". BTDT... and I'm a dog owner, who was walking my own dogs at the time. The fact that the dog outweighed me by about 35 lbs and would have knocked me flat (it was a Bernese Mountain Dog) didn't seem to make a difference to his irresponsible owner.
  12. No, it doesn't sound like that at all. It sounds like either the dog did no harm whatsoever, OR that the dog accidentally scratched the kid with its nails - so lightly that the mark (if there ever was a mark) disappeared immediately. Whether it's officially legal or not, it's completely irresponsible for the hider of the cache not to mention it on the cache page.
  13. Heh. Are you on the East Coast? It's pouring cold rain here in MD today, although we had a nice weekend. You can always play around with GSAK a bit; for example, by clicking on column headings, you can sort not only by distance from your home, but by bearing (useful if you want to do several caches in an area), alphabetically, type of cache, and so forth.
  14. What I've found most useful: GSAK - Geocaching Swiss Army Knife (free with nag screens, about $20 without), found at http://gsak.net/ - and a Premium Membership ($3 a month). Install GSAK on your computer. Use your GPS to find the coordinates of your home. Run a PQ centered around your home, open file in GSAK, save database, upload to GPS via the computer cable that came with it. You can also download individual cache listings and add them to your database.
  15. I have used it once, although I've also taken action on another cache which resulted in archiving, and may do the same with a third. The one actual SBA I posted had two or three previous "needs maintenance" logs, going back several months, indicating that seekers found the area flooded and that at least two had found *remnants* of the container. I happened to be going past the spot after doing another active cache in the same shopping complex, so I took a look and found the same thing - entire area under about 2" of water (which is a huge DUH on the part of the hider, since it's a SWM area for I-95! ) - and the cache nowhere to be seen in the hiding area described in the hint. (It was in a trash tire.) On checking the owner's profile when I got back home, I saw that s/he had never been particularly active, and hadn't logged onto the website since 2005. SBA, no question. Tthe second one - a large micro (Altoids tin) at a truck stop off of I-95 - was reported missing back in July by a cacher who had not only previously found it, but had dropped off TBs in it *since* the initial find. However, the cacher did it as a note, not as a "needs maintenance" or "SBA"... no action was taken. I'm at that particular truck stop 2-4 times a week, and while the cache had gone missing before I started caching, I know where it was - AND know that the area was substantially changed by landscaping this summer. (It was also a SWM area; the cache was apparently attached to ground cover material, which has since been removed.) The owner of the cache no longer lives in the state, and an attempt at e-mailing directly bounced. So I popped a heads-up note to the reviewer who'd approved it; s/he disabled it, then archived it two weeks later when the disabling wasn't responded to. Again, that's a no-question SBA, although I chose to handle it differently. Third cache is in a local park, in yet ANOTHER area that periodically floods. Which is yet another DUH - that side of the parking area, which is located along the same creek as the hiding area, has HUGE signs all over the place saying "Area Subject to Flooding, Park At Your Own Risk". Logs going back to May say the cache was full of water, log was destroyed, etc. etc.... last log prior to my visit was a "Needs Maintenance" four months ago, BEFORE we had heavy rains which would have completely flooded that particular area. On looking for it myself, I found no sign of the cache, even after using the hint, which is a flat-out description of the hiding place. I'm betting that it just plan floated away in the rains. I posted a "Needs Maintenance" since AFAIK the owner's still active (not sure because the account name has changed), but if no action's taken in another couple of weeks - at that point, the cache will have been flagged as needing maintenance for 5 months - I'll most likely pop a note to the local reviewer and put it in his court.
  16. That's how most of the TB "hotels" around here work; they're located near Park and Ride lots for I-95, which makes it easy for TBs to get routed in the right direction, and I don't think they have any "restrictions".There IS one near my S.O.'s house that's acting as somewhat of a "prison", but I think that's more because it's in a more obscure area than because of the cache's rules. It's also poorly located and hidden WRT being "muggled", unfortunately; two TBs (both of which were toys that local teens, who hang out nearby to drink, would think were "cool") have gone missing, and the other two currently have been there for several months. I'm contemplating messaging the remaining TBs' owners, and asking if they'd like me to pull their bugs out and put them in one of the more active and more secure "hotels" - or another cache - to get them moving again, and the heck with the cache's hider. I should add that said hider has moved hundreds of miles away, hasn't provided for maintenance AFAICT, and hasn't responded eitiher to logs or to the local reviewer WRT another nearby cache which was destroyed back in July.
  17. That's what I do if I decide to log an abort; if I made any real effort to find the cache *before* aborting, I'll usually log it as a DNF. But I don't log every abort - it depends on the reason for aborting, the cache location, and whether or not I intend to try again. For example, I aborted a recent search soon after starting because a whole bunch of moms and little kids started arriving on a nearby playground. But since that particular cache is a tricky micro -quite a few people have looked repeatedly before finding it - AND it's well-documented on the cache page that it's near a playground, I didn't bother logging it; I wouldn't have been adding any new information. However, on another visit, when I spotted damage to park property that I was fairly sure had been inflicted by another searcher, I DID log it as a note, both to virtually deliver a BOOT TO THE HEAD to the eejit who did it, and to alert the cache's owner to a potential problem. For another example, when I had to abort another cache-near-a-playground search at 9 pm - different playground - because there were local teens hanging out on the swings, I posted a log about it, including that it wasn't a matter of there being any danger from the kids, it was just too likely to get the cache "muggled". IOW, it was worth letting other cachers know what they might encounter at that time of day (or night). It turned out that the best time to look for THAT particular cache was early in the morning, while the little kids are still in bed and the older ones are in school, and that was worth letting other cachers know, too... that, I did via my "found it" log.
  18. I may have missed this being stated previously somewhere along the line, but... while I see the argument against, and annoyance of, rules which prevent TBs from travelling as intended, I can't see how disabling the caches would help the TBs that are "imprisoned" in them. What would happen to them after the cache is disabled, especially if the cache's owner were to be disgruntled by the disabling??
  19. If it is you still have areas a parking lot in which public accomodation do not apply. These areas may be sprinkler control boxes for the medians, the shrouds on lightposts, access panels on signs and lights etc. Unless the areas you refer to are fenced off, public accomodation DOES apply; it is not illegal for a member of the public to be on the parking lot next to such items, or even to touch/handle them (as long as there is not signage saying "Do Not Touch"). That isn't the same as tampering with them in a way that would cause a hazard or prevent their proper use, which IS illegal. WRT the shrouds on most light posts, tucking a film can or small magnetic box under them does NOT present any hazard nor interfere with their function. The function of those shrouds is to protect the bolts which fasten the pole to the base from weather, and it does no harm to have a film can sitting under there. There is no exposed wiring or other hazard. Similarly, sticking magnetic objects to the outside of wiring boxes of various sorts is not tampering unless the object is placed in such a way that it would interfere with access to the interior, or create a hazard.
  20. Heh. That ties into my strategy, when faced with something I'm worried or self-conscious about... I ask myself "What's the worst that could happen?".... and when I've figured out the worst (which is usually that I could be embarrassed, or something similar), the next question is "Well, can I survive that?". If the answer is "Yes, I can survive that", then there's no reason not to try it.
  21. As someone else said, NON-virtual, respectful caches on cemetary grounds are usually placed so that they won't result in people walking over graves, etc. The ones I've found have been in small wooded areas on the grounds but away from the graves, on or near a nearby building, and so forth. And I think you can get a fairly good idea of the hider's level of respect by the way the cache is listed, and also by reading the logs of the finders. Now, there's one near me that I declined to hunt for, because the cemetary is part of an active church, and when I drove past on a scoping run, my GPS indicted the cache was in a small wooded area which was RIGHT next to a large "No Trespassing" sign which was clearly intended for the cemetary grounds. No thanks. WRT not feeling conspicuous... as so many others have said, acting normal rather than sneaky is the key. I have an advantage in that I cache with my dogs, and most people don't think twice about somebody walking dogs. Last, the one thing I haven't seen mentioned in this thread, but have in several other recent ones... if a cache location, or a situation near a cache location, makes you TRULY uncomfortable or uneasy- trust your instincts and WALK AWAY. There *are* cachers who don't care about other people's property or privacy rights when they place caches, who don't take sufficient consideration for what surrounds their "cool" cache site... or just plain miss something. For example of the last, there's a nice cacher local to me who's got a bum knee, and therefore when he recently hid a trail-side micro in a local park didn't notice that there was barbed wire and TONS of broken glass all over the hill behind it - it's an old farm dump. Pretty cool from an archaeological standpoint, but something you do need to watch out for! There again, checking the logs (all of them, not just recent ones) may give you clues or pointers about such things... for another example, I decided to not even scope out one local cache, because even though it was on a patch of public property, every other log mentioned having to go within 10 feet of somebody's property line, with Dobermans barking furiously at the fence line. My judgement was that looking for that cache was not only disturbing somebody's privacy, but wouldn't be enjoyable.
  22. So far, that hasn't been my experience (which is admittedly limited at this point). The activated trackable Geocoins I've found, all of which were brand new, have been loose in the caches, no note at all, with the exception of someone putting both her coin and a friend's identical coin in ONE little plastic sleeve, which had a place on it that said "write your activation code here". The first one I found had been logged into an incorrect cache, to boot - it wasn't on the inventory of the cache I found it in, but in the inventory of one a mile away. I suspect that was done deliberately since the same cacher had left a wooden nickel with the same geocoin name on it in the other cache. I assume the motive was to foil or annoy coin thieves, but it was confusing to a newbie cacher, especially since I didn't get to the second cache until three weeks later, and the leaver of the coin didn't bother to answer the message I sent asking about it. I eventually figured out for myself that I should "grab" it from the cache I actually found it in, of course.
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