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Garmin Alpha Review: Still the top dog?

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A review of the Garmin Alpha 100 dog tracker
The underdogs and I like to go places.  Remote places...places no man has gone before.  At least no man not wearing blaze orange.  This means being prepared for the unknown.  The unexpected.  The lost.  This means gps tracking.

The Garmin Alpha is the Thundarr Barbarian of the dog tracking world.  Rugged, a little rough around the edges but the technology it wields may just bring peace in a post apocalyptic world.  This thing opens doors just not possible prior to owning it , and does so while sweating testosterone.  Yeah, I like it just fine.
As a reminder, my reviews are not technical specs or full of scientific testing.  My reviews are about how any given product may fit into or enhance the life of a mid-life fool like me.  There may be a few like-minded souls out there.  The wise ones, I call them.  Those who know to really disconnect, you need* technology.   Those of us battling mortality can often take solace in the distraction of ou…

A funny thing happened on the car ride....

Should I neuter my dog?


Why don't you like me?  


I dropped off Obi. He had his noodicles. I picked up Obi. He has no noodicles.

The whole neutering topic has changed an awful lot the past few years, in case you haven't been paying attention. Honestly I just hate doing it. My wife says stop thinking like a guy. Stop projecting. 

Look, I have a soft outlook. My friends are mostly women. No one accuses me of thinking like a guy. I am not projecting, I am sympathizing. It is so different. Look, I am all about the science. That and I can't help but think of it being me. I. Must. Project. So why is the topic of neutering your dog such a big deal? Everyone does it at six months. No down side. Stop overthinking it. Well...I would say to you stop under thinking it. Recent research shows that testosterone plays a very critical role in telling the body when to stop growing. In other words, dogs neutered at six months may grow fractionally taller than they would have.

Who cares?

 I care.

 My dogs live a dog's life. They go with me on great adventures. This calls for a certain amount of stress on the joints and all of that medical stuff that is the subject of other blogs. Bottom line, I have no good reason to neuter my dogs and I have medical science on my side to wait. I really wanted to wait until Obi was two. He is rounding into maybe the best all around dog we have ever had in nearly fifty years of dog companionship. Perfect in nearly every way...and he jogs with me and adventures with me and puts a lot of strain on his ligaments and joints. I really, really wanted to avoid this. Let him develop as he would.

 Sigh.

 He started looking at various pillows on Tinder.

 He started hitting that. That being every throw blanket we own.

 Poor fellow. He was just so frustrated. So against my better judgement we did it. I made it well over a year and a half. I am quite confident he is full grown so hoping any advantages of the testosterone have done their thing at least for the most part. Still, I can't help but feel bad. He is looking at me differently. I am looking at myself differently. I took his precious stones and he knows. I know he knows. Sorry dubs...I really tried. I just stopped thinking like a guy for a few minutes and the rest was just a blur. If I could give you mine I would. Sigh. Oh well. While the decision to put off spaying or neutering can benefit all dogs, it is particularly relevant to sporting dogs (are there other kinds?).  These dogs run hard.  They put intense stress on their limbs and joints.  If there is even a small percentage chance they are less prone to injury if you wait, shouldn't you?  Waiting until one, two or even three years...just give it some thought.   Google it. So...many...studies. A decade from now they will likely be doing more vasectomies than neutering. I hope these vets catch up to modern understanding.

I realize there is a majority faction out there that is against buying purebred dogs.  I am sure this same faction is against not getting your dogs spayed or neutered at six months.  Look, I get it.  I don't disagree there are real reasons to both adopt dogs and fix them early.  I have done that, many times.  Just keep in mind different folks put different demands on their trusted companions.  This blog hopefully slants toward the avid outdoorsman.  There is a predictability and reliability that comes with a well-bred dog.  There is thought and insight that went into not only the health but the individuals involved.  For some of us, that is key.  It doesn't mean we wouldn't get a great hunting or hiking companion in an adopted dog, we are just increasing our chances.  I have adopted many rescue dogs in my time and wholly endorse it.  That doesn’t mean the experience of working with a well respected breeder somehow makes you uncaring.  It makes you responsible.  I have seen all sides of this.  Pay the extra money and work with a responsible, highly respected breeder if you are not adopting a shelter dog.  The extra cost is minimal over the lifetime that pup will spend with you.
 
I really wanted to wait until three years to neuter.  I am pretty sure he wanted me to wait longer.

Hopefully in a few days he will forgive me.


Hmmm...the backside feels lighter...whats up with that?

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