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Cane CQorso uarterly Protection Training, Is It For Your Corso? Viva Peros! Mexican Rescue The Gentle Side: Paws For Healing Corsos Go Back To Basics


Welcome to Our Second Issue

PUBLISHER

KATHI WISDOM

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

BEAU ALLEN PACHECO

ART DIRECTOR

BEAU ALLEN PACHECO

ASST. DIRECTOR

VICKI TABOR

PHOTOGRAPHER

BEAU ALLEN PACHECO

PHONE GUY

BEAU ALLEN PACHECO

COMPUTER OPCOMPUTER GUY

NERDBANE SLOMO

Cane Corso Quarterly Magazine is a publication of J-Bar-N Publishing. All editorial submissions must be sent with a SASE to: Cane Corso Quarterly Magazine 857 21 Road Grand Junction, CO 81521

wisdomcorso@aol.com 970/778-8702

AT

long last, here is our second issue. Yes, we know it’s been a while since our first printed issue, and we apologize for the delay. But since that first issue there has been a seachange in the publishing world. If you follow the publishing biz, you know that the internet has taken a huge, and in some cases fatal, bite out of the magazine and newspaper world. Have you noticed that some of your favorite magazines have suddenly gone on a diet, and seem skinnier before? That’s because they really are skinnier due to lack of advertising revenues and readership. The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune have laid off thousands of employees in the last year. Indeed, the venerable publications Christian Science Monitor and PC World have both ceased paper publication altogether and exist strictly online. If they choose to do it, who are we, a tiny startup magazine, to blow against the wind? That’s why the deathless prose of the Cane Corso Quarterly will henceforth appear here online. Although our experience over the years has been in consumer print publications and the editor still contributes to many of them, we recognize big advantages to you, our readers, to publishing online. First, is the immediacy. There are no lead times anymore between the completion of the magazine and its availability. We put it to bed at noon, and an hour later it’s available to you. That’s no small thing because now, all our stories are fresh and contemporary. Second, and here’s the biggie—IT’S FREE ! Can’t ask for more than that. Plus, with this format, you’re able to clip the images, and use them as you choose. Also, you can pass the magazine around without losing any of its quality. In the old days, a passed around magazine or book was tattered, and worn. So, here we are. Our editorial policy of having no politics is intact, along with our pledge to bring you the most unbiased coverage of the dogs we love so much, the magnificent Cane Corso. Enjoy.

Beau Allen Pacheco—Editor

www.canecorsoquarterly.com

CCQ

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Protection

CCQ Essay

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Cane Corso Quarterly-Winter 2008


n Training! So you want your Corso trained to be a guard dog. Here’s what you can expect from your dog, and why he does what he does, written by Police Office Patrick T Merritt. By Patrick Merritt Photography by Beau Allen Pacheco

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et us discuss the almost miraculous primeval instincts of the various drives that reside in the DNA of your dog. These various traits work in unison to make certain breeds of dogs the supreme teammate in hunting the bad guys, and finding their dope. The Prey Drive deals exclusively with prey while it is seen by the dog and is the amount of motivation for a dog to chase, capture and kill its prey. This drive is particularly strong, and some dogs will chase almost anything: if it moves, it gets chased. Hunt Drive, on the other hand, deals with finding prey after visual contact has been lost. Each of these drives resides in different degrees to different breeds. Some dogs will chase anything that moves but lose interest when the prey hides, while other breeds will stay with its prey until hell freezes over. Since all domesticated dogs are descendents of wolves, the study of wolves is particularly instructive because both the Prey and Hunting instincts of wolves in incredibly strong. www.canecorsoquarterly.com

The twin drives we’re discussing, Prey and Hunt, have, to a degree, been bred out of, or at least degraded in many American pets. Some breeds have been reduced to yappy little lap mice left with very little natural instincts. That’s why most working service dogs are imported from the country of their origin; The German Shepherd from Germany, the Cane Corso from Italy for example. A major pitfall for many trainers is that they consider their charges to be merely four legged humans with lots of hair. Nothing cold be further from reality. The dog has no sense of right or wrong, love or hate. His main concerns are eating and reproducing. All actions derive from those two urges. As trainers we’ll be concerned with the former urge, and if he’s good at it, we’ll allow him to remain intact to partake of the latter. The only reason our dogs do anything at all for us, is because they’re rewarded with food or praise for their actions. Food and praise are the keys

to communication. Or, another way of looking at it is, they feel like they’re fitting into their pack, and food is always the reward for being part of the pack. Another key concept of training is to understand that dogs have a very limited sense of time, if they have any at all. All rewards and punishments must be administered exactly at the appropriate time, or else all meaning is lost on the dog. Some experts tell us that a lag time of as little as ten seconds between an action and reward, renders the reward meaningless. This concept of immediacy is either never learned or forgotten my many handlers. Now, there is another drive that is cogent to our discussion of the Police Dog, and that’s the Retrieve Drive. This is a crucial drive that compels the dog to bring back its prey to the pack ( its handlers). To separate these three instinctive drives, consider the handler who throws a ball for his dog into an empty field. The dog’s Prey Drive makes him chase the ball he can see bouncing Winter 2007/


through the weeds. After the ball quits moving and is hidden under a bush, it’s the Hunt Drive that will urge that dog to search for the ball until he finds it. It’s the Retrieve Drive that brings the dog and the ball back to the pack. When all three of these drives are working in unison, we get the highly desirable synergy called Drive Interaction. When a working dog is using all his drives in unison it’s a powerful thing to see, and it increases the effectiveness of an officer to a very large degree. It’s important however, to remember this; different dogs have varying degrees of these drives in his personality, however if a dog does is completely innocent of any of these drives, they cannot be trained into him. With this background in mind, we can discuss aggression training with a bit more clarity. Aggression training through Prey Drive is a comfortable place for the dog to be because he doesn’t feel threatened by it or punished for it by the trainer. The first ‘fun’ manifestations of the Prey Drive is with games of tug of war. The puppy doesn’t actually know why he enjoys tugging, but he obviously does. If we’re careful with him and nurture this tugging trait, the transition of having the dog tug on a man’s sleeve can be natural and still fun. The casual onlooker may mistake this game as the dog biting a man when in reality it’s merely a game played hard. It’s through the Prey Drive that we initially condition the dog to initiate physical contact with a man. It’s important to remember that aggression training through Prey Drive is just the beginning of his training, and not the end product. It’s later, when the dog has matured and has had his training through Prey Bite /Cane Corso Quarterly

development that we start the actual training to bite a man. It’s essential that the reader understand this last statement thoroughly; Prey Bite development is the whole process beginning with a young dog tugging on a towel or puppy tug, all the way through biting the sleeve of a bite suit, and incorporating the various commands of control. Only when the dog has matured and is comfortable with his training can we go onto the next phase which is referred to as, defense. After defense has been started in our dog, we refer further training as bite development. Fight Drive. This is where our aggression training is headed, but like the previous attributes it’s genetic. Either your dog has it, or it doesn’t. It’s not something that can be trained into him, but if it exists at all, it can be developed. Inheriting Defense. This is the situation where the dog feels threatened for his life or well being. He will react in an aggressive manner of force. Initially in the beginning of defense the dog will stand his ground with a very vociferous warning of an impending fight. In a well trained dog, the threat is serious and if the aggressor continues with the pressure, he’s going to have a very serious fight on his hands. Training the dog for defense is a long process and demands patience. A dog with great potential can be ruined by a trainer who rushes the process and harms the dog, or destroys his confidence. In the early stages, he must be allowed to win his way out, and learn how to defeat the training aggressor. As the training continues the dog learns to defeat the aggressor and builds confidence with each encounter. Each training session encounter however, should be short to avoid overstressing the dog because dogs can’t deal with stress the same as humans.

The Corso in Prey Drive is a very powerful sight

The Retrieve Drive is an essential aspect of training.

2008 Toward Cane the Corso endQuarterly-Winter of its training, the Corso is a formidible working companion.


They don’t understand it, and very quickly they’ll seek ways to avoid it, negating the training effort. Stating it bluntly, if it ain’t fun, he’ll look for somewhere else to go. Quickly. Once he goes into full avoidance mode and learns that the easiest way out of a defensive position is to retreat, he’ll react in this manner for the rest of his life, or at the very least set back your training schedule by several months. Remember, the ultimate goal of training is establish communication with your dog, so that he’ll use his training enhanced instincts to do what you want him to do. Training sessions are merely exercises to help him understand piece by piece or session by session, to do a specific job for you. This article is to give you an overview of what to expect when you take your dog to be trained. We’ve listed some of the traits the dog needs, and some traits that the handler needs. We say ‘some,’ because there are more to a dog than just hunting drives. Briefly, there is the Rank Drive. This drive dictates to the dog which rank he desires within the pack. Low drive yields a submissive dog. High drive creates a stud who wants to achieve leadership in his pack; your family and you. A dog with a high degree of Rank Drive will always attempt to dominate you, he will resist force, and he considers it a sign of weakness within himself to obey a command.

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There is the Tracking Drive which is the subconscious impulse to hunt by tracking the scent of the prey. There is also Air Scent Drive which is the impulse to hunt through airborne scent. And of course there is the Play Drive which compels the dog to play, tease and make contact with the handler. However, a dog who has no Prey Drive may still desire to play. Play and Prey Drive are not exactly the same thing. And now, what about the most important part of the dog’s education— you. The owner who desires to have his dog trained for guarding needs to understand his own motivations and talents and relationship with the dog before training is commenced. That’s why it’s important to sit down and have a lengthy heart-to-heart talk with a trainer about the impending training. You need to ask yourself; Do I really need a dog with these talents?; Am I mentally equipped to handle a dog this powerful?; Do I have the right family situation? If the answer to these questions is yes, then the next step is finding a qualified trainer for the job.

CCQ

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We capture the unique beauty and strength of your dog

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Converting your Corso photos to works of art 14/Cane Corso Quarterly

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Paws For

Healing Success In a California Program Is Measured One Heart At a Time

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ow many times have wanted to make a difference in somebody’s life, but didn’t quite know how to go about it? Most of us have wanted to give of our time, but finding the right organization can seem overwhelming and in the end not as fulfilling as you had hoped. If you want to make a difference on a very human and personal level, then Paws For Healing (PFH) may be the right volunteer organization for you. Although it has its roots in Napa, the PAWS for healing organization is now firmly entrenched in Vacaville and the surrounding areas. The PFH mission reads as follows: “Our mission is to train and provide Canine Assisted Therapy (C.A.T) teams to enhance the quality of life for people who have 18/Cane Corso Quarterly

By Travis Pacheco

special needs in health care and educational facilities…and our motto is mending hearts with loving paws and guiding hands”. The origins of this mission statement came from one simple observation from PFH Cofounder and President Joanne Yates several years back. Joanne’s fist golden retriever, Max, maintained an active lifestyle despite having a slight handicap. As she puts it, “He had his front foreleg amputated and when he went bounding down the street with his favorite plastic pencil, people would look at him quizzically, not really understanding what was wrong. Then they’d figure it out and say something like, “Well, if he can be so happy, I really can’t complain about my problems...”. From this reaction to her dog, she saw firsthand the positive impact canines can have on others. She immediately looked for volunteer opportunities where she and the dog could Cane Corso Quarterly-Winter 2008


Photo by Beau Allen Pacheco

truly make an impact. Soon after, Joanne began volunteering at Queen of the Medical Center in Napa and St. Helena Hospital through another organization. What started with one dog and a desire to serve, has become a first class volunteer organization that truly serves the community. With Joanne’s vision, PFH has grown into an organization that includes 4 counties, 70+ facilities, and over 200 CAT teams, many of which are located in Vacaville. In addition to the 5

Vacaville Hospital, Vacaville Convalescent and Rehab, Loyalton, Windsor House, Kaiser-Permanente, Northbay Medical Facility, and USARC PACE. The general feeling from these facilities is that there is almost always more demand for C.A.T. teams than can be met. By definition, PAWS is a community based non-profit, 501 (c) (3) corporation. However, the true definition and meaning of PAWS can’t be read about, it must be experienced. As PFH

The feeling of success and fulfillment is not one-sided. The facility managers also see a tremendous benefit, which is why the dogs are asked to come back and why there is usually more demand than can be met. facilities in Vacaville where 13 CAT (Canine Assisted Therapy) teams are working, 4 board members also live in Vacaville. The facilities currently being served by PFH in the Vacaville area include Travis AFB, Vacaville Public Library, Paramount Parks Assisted Living, Summerfield House, Ulatis Library, www.canecorsoquarterly.com

member Nikki Pacheco told me “Only through personal contact with patients and witnessing the breakthroughs on an intimate level will you truly know the impact a canine can have in improving the life of someone in need”. In fact, if you ask any PFH volunteer why they stay involved in the program, you are Winter 2007/19


Slowly, with patience and love, one litter at a time, we will allow Cane Corso greatness to emerge. And it starts now. Kathi Wisdom & Jeff Blichfeldt Wisdom Kennels & J Bar N training 970/778-8702 Fax 970/858-4519 www.wisdomdcorso.com email: wisdomcorso@aol.com

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Winter 2007/21


likely to hear a similar sentiment by way of a personal story. Take, for instance, the experience of PFH board member Joyce Bristow: “I visit, among other places, Vaca Valley hospital with my Australian Labradoodles, Amber and Bella.  We also work in the libraries with a program called READ where children come in and read to the dogs.  While you can see how people react to the hospital visits and have a general feeling of appreciation after a successful visit, you never know the true extent of the comfort you may have given. “One girl who regularly reads to Amber in the library is quite a good reader and Amber just loves to see her.  One day after she finished reading to Amber her mother came up to us and asked if she could say hello to Amber.  I said of course and she sat down on the quilt and was treated to an Amber love fest with lots of kisses.  She told me that Amber had come to visit her husband when he was in the hospital a few months back.  She said that he so enjoyed her visit that he could talk about little else for the rest of the day.  I told her I was happy to hear that and asked how he was doing.  She told me that he died that night. ‘‘As I was standing there in shock and at a loss for words, she told me that her daughter liked reading to Amber because she thought that Amber was her daddy’s little Angel.” The

them Bubba was working and they would have to read to him to pet him.  They couldn’t get into line fast enough!  But the miracle was these boys were swaggering around gang posturing moments earlier and the minute they started to read to Bubba they became little boys again, enjoying themselves.  It was amazing and made me so glad I had started this program.” Once the kids begin reading to the dogs, they seem to be hooked. When they know a new C.A.T. team will be coming to the library, Rena can’t stem the tide of enthusiasm from the readers. Part of the new program includes giving the reader an

feeling of success and fulfillment is not one-sided. The facility managers also see a tremendous benefit, which is why the dogs are asked to come back and why there is usually more demand than can be met. One of the newly developed programs, R.E.A.D. (Reading Education Assistance Dogs), at Vacaville Public Library, has been a huge success. According to the Children’s librarian, Rena Gallant, the benefits of the R.E.A.D. program are numerous, but essentially include the following: 1. Improved Reading 2. Greater Confidence 3. Safe interactions with dogs. 4. Meaningful relationships between children and caring adults. “Parents and kids are thrilled with the program.  Sometimes it takes a bit to get a kid to read but usually once they do they love it.  Some kids are drawn to dogs either through a love of animals or even sometimes because they don’t have much contact with them but have desire to be.” When I asked Rena why she would list meaningful relationships, she relayed a story that brought it all into focus and made me realize the long-lasting impact we might have if we take the time and effort to reach out. “One of my favorite memories is Bubba the mastiff weighing in at about 175 lbs. strolling into the library, he’s brindle, several boys about 11-13 years old race up and want to pet Bubba.  I told

age appropriate book once they have accumulated the requisite number of stickers. This has definitely kept the readers coming back. (have picture of R.E.A.D.) In addition to the numerous anecdotal stories regarding the positive impact of C.A.T. teams, the medical evidence citing the benefits is numerous and well founded. Several articles can be referenced on the organizational website. From mental health, to child development, to health care, the evidence overwhelmingly supports the use of canines in a therapeutic role. Take, for example, the following quote from Larry Dossey, MD “In today’s high tech healthcare environment, it is ironic that a

puppy’s sloppy kiss can create measurable health benefits. Yet the evidence favoring the health value of pets is so compelling that if pet therapy were a pill, we would not be able to manufacture it fast enough”. If you are interest in becoming a certified CAT team, or if you would like to have CAT teams visit your facility, please reference the web-site www.pawsforhealing. org, or call 707-258-3486 for full details. If you don’t own a dog, but would like help the organization grow, please consider a donation by going to the website. One of the newest projects is the 2009

According to the Children’s librarian, Rena Gallant, the benefits of the R.E.A.D. program are numerous, but essentially include the following: 1. Improved Reading 2. Greater Confidence 3. Safe interactions with dogs. 4. Meaningful relationships between children and caring adults.

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Calendar that is currently being created and will be available for sale in the fall. Last year’s effort was a tremendous success and 100% of the profit will go towards training and development of C.A.T. teams and programs. The calendar will make a perfect gift for the dog lover in your life and the money raised will help make a lasting impact on somebody’s life. (Have Picture of Calendar on side of page with web-site link)

CCQ This article first appeared in Paws for Healing newsletter and is reprinted by permission of the author.

Cane Corso Quarterly-Winter 2008


www.canecorsoquarterly.com

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C

In The Field With

ane Corso

Doing What Dogs Have Traditionally Done

s

By Beau Allen Pacheco

T

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In some parts of the world, dogs are still a valuable hunting partner in the hunt for food.

Photos by Martin Herman

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Rescue in Mexic Y

ou know the story of the starfish—two men are walking along a beach littered with hundreds of thousands of starfish washed up on the shore. One of the men is picking them up and tossing them back in the sea. The other man watches him for a while, and says, “why are you throwin’ those back in the water? There are too many of them, you can’t save them all, it doesn’t matter.” But his friend just kept tossing the hapless creatures back into the waves. “It matters to that one,” he said everytime a starfish splashed in the brine. “It matters to that one, it matters to that one....”

...and so it is with stray dogs. You can’t save them all, but one life at a time, when you can, it matters to that one. And the rewards are almost as big for you as for the life you save. 28/Cane Corso Quarterly

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co Photo by Jeff Allen

The little Mexican street urchin hitches a ride in a Harley-Davidson sidecar on her way to becoming a Yankee. The author named her Bella, which means ‘beautiful’ in Italian. A truly international puppy.

By Travis Pacheco

T

he gray has begun its slow, inevitable creep across her muzzle as she approaches nine years old, but the gray brings me comfort. It means she has lived long past her execution date, the day I heard the awful scream that brought her into my life. None of it was planned or expected. I was on a trip with my Dad, who was researching a motorcycle travel story in a Harley-Davidson sidecar rig for a magazine. We were on our way back home after spending several days driving up and down the Baja peninsula, he on the motorcycle and I in a trailing van with a photographer and a writer. Until that point, I had always been www.canecorsoquarterly.com

a dog lover, but a chain of events brought a little puppy we came to name Bella, into my life and left an indelible impression on me and changed the way I understand and experience all dogs. We first noticed her as we were sitting around the hotel Pinta in San Ignacio, Mexico. The two nights we spent there were the most at any location during the week. The hotel looked like an old mission, but with clean sheets, hot running water and a passable restaurant. The main courtyard had a large pool, giving Winter 2007/29


Photo by the author

the place the feel of an oasis in the hot dry Baja desert. As all feral dogs in Baja, she looked like a mix of several breeds. The most obvious characteristics were that of a German Shepherd and Doberman. Her hair was short, but had the same black and tan markings of a Shepherd. Her feet had the high toes of a Doberman with the same posture and deep chest. Sometimes when she panted, her forehead wrinkled, making her look like a Sharpei, or a Bull Terrier. Here ears were perhaps the most prominent feature, floppy and two sizes two big. She was with her mother and brother, and all lived under the front porch. It was obvious they were still nursing, not more than 6-8 weeks old. Bella and her brother were lively and rambunctious, the mother very reserved and a bit haggard. The tourists, including our group, took advantage of the opportunity to feed them table scraps, to steal an intimate moment to give them a little affection, and for a moment, imagine another life for these dogs. Surely this small pack belonged 30/Cane Corso Quarterly

to someone associated with the hotel, so the fleeting moment passed and we went about our business Early on our last morning there, packing to leave, we heard a horrible scream that even now rings crystal clear in my mind. My first thought was that one of the dogs had been hit by a car. Her mother was pacing nervously, knowing her baby was in danger. As we approached the sound, we found that Bella had been tied in a potato sack and tossed into the back of a rusty old pickup. Her first ride was going to be her last. My dad and I walked purposefully to the truck and the driver to try and make sense of the situation. It was obvious that the driver had been given instructions to toss this innocent life in the river. Quickly the conversation turned threatening, and the shouting started. Though I was livid at the time, I realize now it was a practical solution for controlling the overwhelming feral dog population among people with few means. It was surprising her mother had lived long enough Cane Corso Quarterly-Winter 2008


Photo by the author

Photo by Beau Pacheco

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Photo by Beau Pacheco

to have puppies. We were told the males are typically spared, though we have no way of knowing what happened to her brother. The result of the exchange between we and the pickup driver was that I owned a new puppy. At the time I had no idea of the implications, but I was adamant that this little girl wouldn’t die today. Before we packed her in the van, my dad got on his knee, held Bella’s face to her mother’s and whispered, “Say goodbye to your baby, she’s going to America and a better life”. Perhaps it’s foolish, or anthropomorphic, but in my mind her mother understood the exchange and, though sad, gave us her blessing. The first few hours of our little traveler with us in the van she sat in a in a bucket. She smelled like fish and vomited out the effluvium of a fish carcass, a taco wrapper, chewing gum wrapper, and a mouse skull. I cleaned her up that first night in the hotel shower and wrapped her in the comforter on the bed. She clearly felt content, safe, and warm because she barely stirred all night. The next day we stopped in Maneadero and got her vaccinations taken care of, preparing for the border crossing. Finding a veterinarian on the main street was easy, but describing what I wanted was very intimidating because I had to explain in Spanish Bella’s story and what I was doing. Fortunately, I had learned enough Spanish to make this conversation possible, although it was slow going. The staff in the office was very helpful and the Veterinarian was understanding and appreciated what we were doing. He saw us immediately and we were out within an hour vaccination papers in hand. Our stowaway was legal with her first set of papers. Approaching the border we tried enclosing her in the motorcycle side car luggage compartment. No way, and she let us hear her scream again. We believed there was a real chance she could be confiscated and we might never see her again. I was surprised I could feel such panic over a dog I had known for less than 36 hours. The deep bond was already intact. After considering many complicated schemes, we decided a small hiding place under the seat and a “nothing to declare” were the best option to get her to America. With my dad driving, I sat in the back seat, with Bella gently pushed back behind my legs on the floor and covered with leathers and photography equipment. I was praying she wouldn’t make a sound, and not Winter 2007/31


squirm out and initiate a conversation of her own with the guards. In that moment I knew what it felt like to be a drug dealer, a smuggler, a criminal. I was terrified and electrified at the same time. A new life was at stake, a beating heart that needed me to be calm so she could experience life in a truly magical place called America. The guard approached the window and took a painfully slow look around the interior of the van. When was Bella going to appear? Did she just cry? I tried to give him my lazy, bored and tired Yankee look, but I knew Mariah the Samoyed lady, and Bella the Mexican street hustler have he could read the guilt on reached an understanding in their home my face and would ask me to long, bringing her shoulders to my waist. Her hair step out of the vehicle. After was still brilliant red in most places, though her face several agonizing seconds he pulled his head out of was nearly all gray. She moved much slower and the van and inquired about my dad’s travel humidor full of cigars. “Cubano,” he asked smiling. “Nope, not calculated now, but I could still see the athlete’s grace from Cuba”, me Dad replied. “ Dominican Republic.” and power in her body. She gently nudged me and cried when she first saw me. Although it had been With that, the guard waved us through. I resisted the several years, she remembered me. The loyalty never impulse to shout out in triumph for Bella, for us, and for getting away with it. I had a new puppy…but now wavers. The two dogs played a bit, but Maggie soon tired of what? the new puppy and quickly put her in her place. The Before driving back home, I had to make a stop at short meeting between the two insured “the chain” my dad’s house in Costa Mesa, California to pick up remained intact. Maggie is gone now, but every dog my truck before heading home to Sacramento. His since my childhood has had contact with the next, career and mine brought us both to California from from Sara to Kelly to Maggie to Denver, Colorado, where I spent Bella currently. my childhood. The motorcycle While driving the eight hours industry lured my Dad to Southern home, I tried to figure a way to California, while the Air Force introduce our new package of brought me to Sacramento. boundless energy to my wife, We stayed for a while at my Nikki, who had no idea what was Dad’s place and while there, Bella coming. Growing up, Nikki was briefly met Maggie, my childhood never able to have dogs despite the Irish Setter who was now twelve. fact she desperately wanted one. All of our dogs growing up were A month after we were married we picked up our Irish Setters. I had forgotten how The author (L) and his wife Nikki Cocker Spaniel named Maty, who tall she was. Her legs were very 32/Cane Corso Quarterly

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Cane Corso Quarterly-Winter 2008


immediately became the focus of all our attention. Shortly thereafter, we got her a companion and found our second love, Mariah, an extremely talkative Samoyed. Life was a bit frantic at first, but we settled into our routine and Maty and Mariah quickly became strong packmates. Although Nikki and I had talked about adding a third dog from time to time, we had never quite come to an agreement. I hoped we could agree now. Desperate husbands have a way of introducing dicey surprises, and I’m no exception. I figured since it was February, Bella would become a little Valentine. And she’s the greatest Valentine’s gift I have ever given. After hastily parking the car in the garage, I walked into the house and handed my wife a card. It briefly explained Bella’s situation and told her to go to the truck to see the “package” (she later told me she thought I had adopted a Mexican child). Nikki met Bella with the same excitement and trepidation I experienced. Here was a cute, needy new puppy that had to be integrated into our established two dog household, and my wife’s heart melted. With a few scheduling adjustments, the transition into the house was fairly easy at first, though it certainly had its rough spots later on as Bella attempted to become the alpha female. Her survival instinct was very strong. This never sat will with Maty who was definitely the toughest of the three. Over several years, they had some nasty confrontations and Bella still has the scars around her face to prove it. But now that Maty is gone, the household has settled into a certain calm, Mariah and Bella each understanding their role and social status. Age has a way of doing that, whether human or canine. When I look at Bella and my wife now, I can see a deeper appreciation between them, a genuine closeness that has developed over time. Reflecting on the experience of adopting Bella, I’m convinced her behavior is a lifelong thank you to humans. She is extremely sweet, loving, and gentle. There is a bond between her and I that I’ve not experienced with other dogs. She tells me daily with her expressive eyes that she knows how lucky she is. When I look at Bella, I can’t help but think of the thousands of dogs that face the same fate she did so many years ago. The number of dogs is so overwhelming, but there are a few organizations dedicated to helping dogs like her, and it gives me hope. If you are looking for a new family dog, take some time to research and consider one of these www.canecorsoquarterly.com

orphans. You won’t regret your choice. Every day you will know you made a difference. I often think of Bella’s Family and wonder whether they made it or not. Usually the thoughts come when I’m letting Bella run in a nearby field. Her euphoria brings me an inner peace, because I know exactly what her fate was nine years ago. Sometimes when she’s running she’ll stop abruptly and look back at me, smiling. When that happens, I let the moment burn into my mind. I look around, take it in, and remind myself that we gave her more time, the most precious gift of all. Bella won’t be with us forever and of course that’s natural. But we both know, she and I, that far away in a dusty Mexican town, among the hundreds of stray dogs that day, that I took a chance and saved her life. It reaffirms that her life meant something, and it reminds me that I did something noble when it was inconvenient. When she’s asleep, or when she’s at play, I can look at her and know that it mattered to that one. That’s enough. It mattered to that one.

CCQ

ReScuE N

ot all dog rescues need be so dramatic as this one. There are millions of dogs desperately awaiting rescue in this country, and there is an active Cane Corso rescue team available at: http://canecorsorescue.org/. For further information on dog rescue, go to any of the sites listed below. And, it’s wise to remember that with judicious neutering, the stray dog problem would be miniscule. http://www.yucatanliving.com/culture/dogs-in-mexico.htm http://www.amigosdeanimales.org/ http://www.islaanimals.org/ http://www.petfinder.com http://www.aaasosua.com/ http://www.amazon.com/Street-Dogs-Traer-Scott/dp/1858944082 (A book on these dogs)

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Cane Caorso Quarterly

Recipe S

Spaghetti Alla Carbonara

everal Cane Corso owners told us that in honor of their dog’s lineage, they host Italian Nights. These aren’t casual BBQs outdoors sitting out on the patio. These are sit-down affairs and out comes the genuine silver, the expensive dishes and the linens. A dinner like this deserves a great entrée, and my favorite is spaghetti Carbonara. It’s rather an elaborate and tricky dish to prepare so my wife, Vicki makes it only on special occasions. Below is her recipe. The best examples I’ve found of this Northern Italian dish were at: Tre Moschettieri (Three Musketeers) (Via S. Nicola da Tolention 23; Tel. 06/4814845) in Rome, Italy; The Hilton hotel in Padova, Italy; Anna’s in Daytona Beach, and Caffe il Farro in Newport Beach, California. The only wine that I’ll have with Carbonara is Chianti and I prefer a classico. Since this is a rather heavy meal, I usually round it off with a good cigar. A dinner like this deserves the best and I light up a Padron Anniversario with a glass of Tawny port. This, my friends, is perfection. Goda il Suo carbonara! For Two ½ lb Bacon 1 Pt.Whipping Cream 1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese 4tbspn crushed garlic Salt & Pepper to taste ½ lb thin spaghetti 2 eggs Fry the bacon crisp, reserve the grease. Pour the whipping cream and 6 to 8 tblspn bacon grease along with two eggs beaten, into a skillet. Stir over medium heat until it thickens. Thickness is important here, and can be the difference between memorable Carbonara and just so-so pasta. Grainy sauce is the bane of all true Carbonara lovers. The sauce should be creamy and smooth. Although we use whipping cream, the sauce should NOT be as thick as strawberry topping. Once the sauce is perfect, add garlic, salt & pepper to taste. More bacon grease is allowable to taste. Once this sauce has thickened. Pour your lovely cholesterol concoction over cooked spaghetti. Sprinkle crumbled bacon and grated Parmesan cheese on top. If your dinner is an elegant affair, and is to be mixed and served at the table, then once your sauce is poured over the spaghetti pour a fresh egg over the sauce and mix thoroughly. Over this, place ultra thin slices of Parmesan. Carbonara is sometimes served with peas or some other vegetable. This is heresy. Never let a vegetable touch your Carbonara. By Beau Allen Pacheco

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Cane Corso Quarterly