July 25th, 2009

bones don't know what that means

Good dog breeds for herding small children.

That's right. You read correctly. I'm looking for a good dog breed for herding small children around.

Research thus far:
Wiki'd collies and looked through the sub-types
Googled "dog herding children"
+ found the following:
++ http://www.akc.org/breeds/herding_group.cfm
++ http://www.castlerockbullmastiffs.com/herding-dog-breeds.html

The setting/background:
The dog will come into play in my story in Massachusetts, on Nantucket Sound, in the early 2030's. The family has just had a baby, and also have a 16- and 6-year-old. The dog is going to be a gift from a very wealthy friend, so the pedigree makes no difference. I'm looking for a dog breed that is low maintenance in regards to grooming, suited to the weather in Massachusetts, has a strong herding instinct, loves the water, is a good guard dog, is good around cats, and is good with very small children. It needs to be sturdy (and gentle & patient) enough to be able to carry a child around on its back, also. I would prefer a medium- or large-breed dog; the father hates small yappy dogs, and can't be bothered with extensive grooming, even if he doesn't have to groom the dog himself. It's a working dog, not a show dog. My apologies for the confusion; the dog isn't going to be a show dog that's kept inside all the time; one of its main purposes will be to watch the children, play with them, etc. That's what I had meant by "working dog". The father works from home, so he has plenty of time to give it all the exercise it needs, and the house is on quite a bit of land, so the dog will have plenty of space.

It's going to be trained to herd the children around, especially once the new baby starts crawling/walking.

From the second link above, it seems like a collie or a German Shepherd would be my best bet, and if I go with a collie, I'll probably go with an English Shepherd. I'm mainly looking for personal accounts/videos (videos would be especially appreciated) of dogs herding children around; I only have vague memories of our Border Collie herding us around when we first got her 13 years ago.

Thank you in advance! ^_^

Also, can we get a "pets" tag, by any chance? I volunteer to go through and tag old entries, if any help is needed ...

Anti-anxiety medications

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Here is the scenario: One character is having a freak-out episode over something, and his friends want to give him something to calm him down. One of the others is a character who has had problems with anxiety and panic attacks his whole life, so it's likely he's carrying his medication with him. What might he have for the first character? I looked up Ativan and Xanax, but I saw that they're a daily medication, and I'm not sure if it would work or be safe for either to be given to someone who wouldn't normally need it, but his friends think he needs to chill now. Any suggestions would be welcome, and if you have personal experience please share. Thanks!

Tonic-Clonic seizures

Okay, so this is a fairly simple question.  I googled tonic-clonic seizures and I found the general symptoms a person will exhibit after a seizure of this nature, but what I can't find are detailed symptoms.  I know someone will be confused, disoriented, etc., but what does that exactly mean?  How exactly would my character behave after a tonic-clonic seizure?

Setting is modern day.

Edit:  Thank you all!  I have some great info now.