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Old 08-16-2012, 09:19 PM
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Default The Russian Man

I was clouded in mind and fuzzy with sleep as I rose one bone chillingly cold morning, around 8 AM I remember - in late February. Katalin was struggling abit with her potty training and really needed to GO first thing in the morning. I had taken her out at 1 the night before and she was fine for the rest of the time she slept; I'm a rather late riser if I haven't got work/school - her bladder wouldn't wait for me to get my ass outta bed if I had my way - so alas, bathroom trips at the crack of dawn was the way it went for the first several weeks.

I threw on my Hello Kitty pajama pants and a short, yellow dressing gown - slipped on some battered black and white Adidas superstars and threw a big brown overcoat over all the morning mess that I was - got Katalin on a short lead and we headed off for a quick round of the block. We walked - and stopped - walked - and stopped - walked....well, you get the picture.

I was half asleep and salivating at the thought of getting back indoors and climbing back into my warm, soft bed and dozing when a sight entered the corner of my eye....a HUGE, white/dove grey dog with dark grey patches on it's face and some along it's neck - rather peculiar was the fact that for such a massive animal it's tail was nearly non existent and it's ears were really short. It's human was scruffy, had a dark aura about him and was snarly looking - he was holding his dog on a very short leash as we walked by. Katalin approached what looked like her grand-uncle from another breed and age of antiquity very innocently and started sniffing - kisses were exchanged at one point and the behemoth appeared pleased, charmed even.

"Great Pyrenees?" I asked sheepishly with a smile

"Central Asian Shepherd" He replied in a smoky, mysterious Russian accent.

"Oh...I've never seen one; he's beautiful"

"Yeah, you don't see many in Canada"

"She's about...half a year?" As he eyed Katalin and smiled somewhat

"Just 4 months - she's got a long way to go" I replied. "How old's he?" I asked pointing to the CAS. Katalin looked up at me with a child's curious yet reserved gaze "What are they mommy?" She would have whispered into my ear if she could talk and indeed get me to put my ear to her level.

"Oh, He's 9..." He patted his giant shepherd and gave me a pensive, distrustful sort of a look; perhaps it was the pattern of a mouthless cartoon cat holding cupcakes on my sleepwear that bemused him - or my disheveled hair and unwashed face - or maybe both, who knows?

"Well...he's lovely. Have a good morning" I led Katalin in the opposite direction back home.

Apon arriving I shucked my shoes and coat off and Katalin went back into the corner she designated for slumber for herself and I switched on my laptop, opened google, and punched in "Central Asian Shepherd"....

Russian, Turkish, and English sites popped up and photos of these formidable creatures invaded my screen - black and white, tan, grey, blue, all black... Not a dog I'd consider for myself I thought (at the time...) but certainly impressive...

I was too tired to do more in depth research at the moment - so I closed my laptop and tucked myself back into bed. The images and memories of the encounter with the Russian man and his mysterious, magnificent dog would linger in my mind for a long time...our next encounter....in the next post....to be continued....
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  #2  
Old 08-19-2012, 12:54 AM
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Their photos on their wikipedia english page didn't do them justice - but then again, it was, and still is confusing to me - the variants within variants of the breed itself are utterly stupefying. Turkmen Alabai, Central Asian Shepherd, Central Asian and Caucasian Ovcharka...most of the information was on Russian sites or ones with extremely poor English on them, I couldn't decipher their history on the internet nor differentiate with any competence (at the time) the individual breed markers within each specific type of this molossoid canine. The information on alot of sites were not matching up to one another.... Most people would probably have said "f*ck it" and have moved on from this fascination with such a unusual dog after running into such difficulty even ascertaining the most basic facts about it...but this only intrigued me even more and egged me on. If something was difficult to understand or obtain information on...I'd set out to be an expert on it.

Aha...I found that they are considered by many, but by no means all people in the FCI, UKC, and just those whom know the breeds as landraces versus a cultivated breed of dog. Their Caucasian Ovcharka cousin I must admit does look like a sort of Neanderthalic creature - but the Central Asian I was quite puzzled by...why their tiny ears and tails?....

On a near sweltering day in early spring - April I think it was, we headed off to the dog beach for a quick run. Katalin ingested nearly half her weight's worth in sea water and chased off a number of herons and Canada geese (if I would be deported back to Asia due to my dog attacking a national emblem was anyone's guess). We headed back home on foot - a good 15 blocks. We came up to a small strip of shops that housed a Mcdonalds, bowling alley, single screen theatre, insurance firm, hardware supply store, Korean educational book shop, econo-hair salon, and a empty space that used to be a grocery store; Buy-Low foods, frequented by my grandmother for fresh, cheap produce and foodstuffs.

We dashed into the shade that the former grocery storefront provided and along the opposite side of us walked a figure in aviator sunglasses, a green stadium jacket, khakis and loafers with a huge dog in tow...

My puppy of ancient Hungarian decent met the elderly "shepherd" of even more ancient Central Asian decent face to face. They sniffed once again - and kisses were exchanged. The sight of his reserved older friend being inquisitive and his short stub of a tail wagging like there was no tomorrow all for the sight and smell of a big white puppy brought a broad smile to the Russian man's face. I only smiled back at him. No words were exchanged this time around. I walked Katalin away and the Central Asian looked back with a wary glance of longing and affection; we passed by a Chrysler van from the 1980's era that had two standard poodles and a shih tzu in it - I wondered if it was his car...to be continued in abit....
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Feudin' and fightin' and a-fussin,'
That's all that's goin' on with us'n!
We are such neighborly people, peaceful and sweet!
All except when we happen to meet.


Stories, Poetry, and Musings
http://inugami1112.wordpress.com/

"And it's all been lost before, so there's nothing to lose..."


"There are those that love dogs insanely and those that don't. But once you like a dog, you're sunk. You're a dog person for life."

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Old 08-20-2012, 05:58 AM
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I've always been a nocturnal person - midnight is the time of endless inspiration, dreams, restlessness, innovation and wonder (for me). A "early" walk for me is at about 9:30 - 10 PM. I used to take it earlier but I had other things to occupy me at such late hours, I quickly found myself deprived of such activities and well...late walks were a good recourse.

I headed out with Katalin at about 10:15 this particular evening; it was warm yet cool enough to warrant a light windbreaker to be worn. I headed west towards a local beach-side community for a good stroll. I had been at a different beach earlier in the day and was extremely tanned - and slightly burnt. I wore grey Juicy Couture track shorts, a grey tshirt, and a white windbreaker - comfortable gear that didn't chafe my skin. The shorts needed adjusting due to the embarrassing affliction of what is known today in popular culture as a "camel-toe".

As I struggled with my camel appendage and burns in unfortunate areas in one hand while juggling a big white puppy and a beeping (literal beeping; I have no qualms about the IOS system of the particular Apple computers product in question) iPhone in the other. You know all the laws about not driving while texting? There should be bylaws in place for steering your large dog as well: No texting while driving the dog, No poop left uncollected, Please yield to those with a dog with a height of your waist.... While texting away something in the air changed...it got abit cooler, slightly darker, and the street lights yellowed. A calm, lone presence filled the city block....ah, we meet again - the Russian Man and his dog...

My heart skipped - I did not hold a iota of attraction towards this gentleman - don't get me wrong; but something about them help my fascination...the dog somewhat more than the man.

They were walking down the left side of the block - us on the right; He eyed us, dodged us ever so slightly and changed direction at a slow, metronomic pace. I jogged ahead by a few steps and turned left towards the solid duo.

Katalin shot ahead of me on her black lead to greet her unacknowledged shepherd uncle. The Russian Man held his leash close to the Shepherd's neck and mumbled something to him in his native tongue.

"Oh I'm sorry - I really should have asked first...is he ok to say hi?"

"Eh, he doesn't like that much excitement..."

Katalin tugged on her lead and I swung forward by a pace.

"You shouldn't allow pulling like that..." he growled with a look of disapproval and slight haughtiness.

I pulled back on her lead and brought her back to my side into a sit.

The shepherd huddled near his custodian and glanced back at the silly sunburnt Asian and goofy white dog. "Don't they belong in a bad sketch on SNL?" he probably was thinking to himself...(the dog, not the man).

"Dogs are pack animal - they need to know from the beginning - who is the boss; if puppies start pulling - you jerk their lead sideways and say NO!. it must be done immediately and consistently...you should do more training with her"

"I know; we've worked with a positive trainer and - "

He shook his head and furrowed his brows in disgust
"All this Canadian way doesn't work - of course, teach with positive reinforcement to make them understand what is needed of them but they are usually not firm enough; especially for this kind of dog. Both of them were made to guard a flock of sheep - they are independent. All these 'trainers' know what to work with are golden retrievers and Labradors to fetch newspapers and car keys - these guys you have to do other things with..."

To be continued...
__________________
Feudin' and fightin' and a-fussin,'
That's all that's goin' on with us'n!
We are such neighborly people, peaceful and sweet!
All except when we happen to meet.


Stories, Poetry, and Musings
http://inugami1112.wordpress.com/

"And it's all been lost before, so there's nothing to lose..."


"There are those that love dogs insanely and those that don't. But once you like a dog, you're sunk. You're a dog person for life."

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  #4  
Old 10-12-2012, 06:44 AM
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*This is only a story of an experience I had and these statements are direct quotes from myself and the other party in question. If anyone has a problem with anything here - I'll be happy to take PM's about it or you can start something in the dog chat forum, please don't flame this story thread. Thanks =)*

"Once, I was on top of him just in that park around the corner - he flipped me over in a second. Don't think you can control these types of dogs by pure force - I weigh more than him and I can't hold him if he really wants to go crazy. It's just a matter of proper training and control, you take these working dogs and try to keep them as pets - I'm not saying it's bad or impossible, but it will be work."

His dog yawned, sniffed his persons crotch, and laid down on the pavement resting his giant chin on a crooked paw. Like a old Russian grandfather waiting out a conversation between his wife and an errant grandchild or two.

"Oh definitely, I mean some of them especially from working lines have strong drives and such - they can be really task oriented and something needs to be given to them to do constructively. Eh...there's a type of dog I know that I think is related to yours - Caucasian Ovcharka?"

His eyebrows furrowed and a formidable countenance flushed over his already formidable face.

"Those are really something. Caucasian shepherd is related to these guys - but quite different - "

"More defensive?"

"No, he's defensive. You can't come into the house if I'm not there - he will take you down if you try to attack me or him. He doesn't like pats and rubs and strangers - but if you just walk by him he's okay. He doesn't give a sh!t. If you go away - that's enough for him. A Caucasian will go after and destroy whatever it is they feel is a threat if not properly trained and controlled. Very few can adequately handle this dog - maybe 1 in 1000. I had a Caucasian back in Russia - she was a female so she only got to about 60 kgs. Ok, one day, my father took her for a walk - she started to get aggressive and he needed to really hold her back. She was only 4 months - and she loved my parents. Father was very upset - "

"So they're more one person oriented?"

"Uh...."

He squinted in a thoughtful manner

"They need to be handled by everyone they live with quite alot but I found that they are more attached to a specific person - they are good with families though."

TBC....
__________________
Feudin' and fightin' and a-fussin,'
That's all that's goin' on with us'n!
We are such neighborly people, peaceful and sweet!
All except when we happen to meet.


Stories, Poetry, and Musings
http://inugami1112.wordpress.com/

"And it's all been lost before, so there's nothing to lose..."


"There are those that love dogs insanely and those that don't. But once you like a dog, you're sunk. You're a dog person for life."

UKC Kuvasz Standard
AKC Kuvasz Standard
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