Saturday, May 14, 2016

Ananya S Guha writes

“No, By This Time…”

No, by this time evening 
will disappear into forests  
of night, and the ghoulish 
moon will stare 
sparrows hovering 
on my head, and the wind  
smearing dust on walls, roads. 
Again the rains threatening to burst 
as the hills retreat in vision of the night. 
I will write once again of so many yesterdays 
summer houses, spent winters in rays of glowing sun, 
cricket fields and that old school which had so much  
to offer. But I threw them all into garbage of waste. 
Only the hall echoes of movies, concerts and pony tailed girls 
from the nearby school.
Somewhere crowds fasten and jostle you into 
night shaking reveries of howling wilderness  
and that Alsatian dog who sucked my blood 
into his drooling mouth.
Image result for alsatian dog images


  1. The Alsatian is better known as the German Shepherd (GSD; Deutscher Schäferhund in German), a breed of medium-to-large-sized working dogs. Canines have long been bred to herd sheep and protect flocks from predators, being selected for traits such as intelligence, speed, strength, and smell. However, since the breeding was done locally, dogs differed significantly from one place to another, both in appearance and ability. In Europe, in the 1850s, the attempt to standardize breeds began. The Phylax (“Guardian” in Greek ) Society was formed in 1891 to create standardised development plans for native dog breeds in Germany via hand-picking individuals with superior qualities. But one faction one to breed solely for working purposes, while another wanted to breed for appearance, since the predator population was on the decline due to urban growth. The result was that several dogs with little utility were produced, and the society disbanded in 1894, but one of its former members persevered in its goal. Capt. Max Emil Friedrich von Stephanitz, of the working-dog faction, had studied veterinary medicine before joining the German cavalry. A year after his retirement from the service in 1898, borrowing techniques used by English breeders, he began his project on his estate near Grafrath (named after. St. Roasso, the graf of Dießen-Andechs who led the Bavarian resistance to the Magyar invasions of the 10th century before making a pilgrimage to Rome and Jerusalem and founding a Benedictine abbey there). Attending a dog show in Karlsruhe, he paid 200 marks for four-year-old “Hektor Linksrhein,” the product of a few generations of selective breeding, and renamed him “Horand von Grafrath.” He was bred with dogs from Thuringia, Franconia and Wurttemberg and sired many pups, including “Hektor von Schwaben” (inbred from another of Horand’s offspring). Hektor produced “Heinz von Starkenburg,” “Beowulf,” and “Pilot,” who in turn fathered 84 pups, mostly via Hektor's offspring. Beowulf's progeny also were inbred. Von Stephanitz called his new breed Deutscher Schäferhund; all other German herding dogs were referred to as “Altdeutsche Schäferhunde” (Old German Shepherd Dogs). On 22 April 1899, von Stephanitz founded the Verein für Deutsche Schäferhunde (SV) in Stutgard, which became the largest dog breed club in the world. Along with establishing a breed standard (which stipulated, "A pleasing appearance is desirable, but it cannot put the dog's working ability into question”), the SV began developing a breed register, “Zuchtbuch für deutsche Schäferhunde” (SZ), beginning with Horand. Two decades later it published the Körbuch (Breed Survey Book), which determined a dog's suitability for breeding based on its physical and mental characteristics rather than solely on show wins. The English Kennel Club accepted the SV’s 54 registrations in 1919 (by 1926 the number was over 8,000) but soon, because of anti-German sentiment engendered by World War I, renamed the breed "Alsatian Wolf Dog” after the German-speaking area that France had recovered during the war, and many other organizations followed suit. But breeders worried that an association with wolf-dog hybrids would affect the dog’s growing popularity and legality, and the appendage "wolf dog" was dropped. However, it was still called an Alsatian until 1977, when the German Shepherd designation was restored (though "Alsatian" was kept in parentheses as part of the formal breed name until 2010. Under Stephanitz's guidance, the SV also introduced the breed to other types of work. After firm leadership of his group, he died on the 37th anniversary of the club he founded.

  2. Meanwhile, a new dog sport, Schutzhund ("SchH," German for "protection dog") was developing in Germany to test if dogs had the appropriate traits and characteristics. The first Schutzhund trial was held in 1901. For a ½ century, the definitive description of Schutzhund training was Col. Konrad Most's manual on dog training, which by contemporary standards is harsh and possibly abusive, but it was structured, consistent, and in many ways conformative to modern learning theory. In 1981, Helmut Raiser’s “Der Schutzhund” radically changed the standard methodology; a decade later, Susan Barwig and Stewart Hilliard’s “Schutzhund Theory & Training Methods” marked the next advance. Other changes in the sport have also occurred. Many other breeds can compete, and three traits are tested, tracking, obedience, and protection. The purpose is to identify dogs that have the character traits required for demanding jobs, including tests for physical traits such as strength, endurance, agility, and scenting ability. In Germany, only German Shepherds that pass a Schutzhund test or a herding test are allowed to breed and thus have their progeny registered, though elsewhere breeders merely use the contest to determine how to use any particular dog. A dog must pass all three phases in one trial to be awarded a schutzhund title. Each phase is judged on a 100-point scale. The minimum passing score is 70 for the tracking and obedience phases, and 80 for the protection phase. At any time the judge may dismiss a dog for showing poor temperament, including fear or aggression. Even before a dog can compete, it must pass a Begleithundprüfung ("traffic-sure companion dog test") of basic obedience and sureness around strange people, strange dogs, traffic, and loud noises. A dog that exhibits excessive fear, distractibility, or aggression cannot pass the B and so cannot go on to schutzhund. It is a demanding test for any dog, and few can pass. In Germany, it is still the case that only German Shepherds that pass a Schutzhund test (or a herding test) are allowed to breed and thus have their progeny registered, though elsewhere breeders merely use the contest to determine how to use any particular dog. The Fédération Cynologique Internationale, founded to handle all dog-related things in 1911 by Germany, Austria, Belgium, France and the Netherlands, sets the rules for “Internationale Prufungsordnung” [Schutzhund] titles, and the Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Zuchtvereine und Gebrauchshundverbände sets the Schutzhund rules for all breeds. The AZG is one of the component organizations of the Verband für das Deutsche Hundewesen, Germany's kennel club for dogs. But the SV, a member of the VDG, continues to be the most powerful influence on the sport.


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