Monday, March 31, 2008
Friday, March 28, 2008
So now he stands upon my wall, along with my others who have passed before us, a happy slice of time forever frozen and kept. His tail still wagging. He will be forever in my heart, I have promised him. He is mine and he was a pitbull.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
A photo of the hook found IN the bully stick.
Be sure to check out the rest of their blog too. Nanook and Pooka are Beeuuuutiful dogs with lots of great photos to share. http://www.nanookthenewfy.blogspot.com/ ** Alert ~ It is photo heavy so may take some time to upload. (or is that download? I am not very computer savey.) It is well worth the wait though so be patient.
Monday, March 24, 2008
To finish up, a shared photo from a pug rescue friend of her beloved crew. I hope everyone had a great holiday.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
She loved to play tug with Jack.
And had no qualms about using him as a pillow afterwards.
So here's to remembering Harvey and a life well lived. May he be enjoying his next adventure, whatever that may be.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
http://www.victoriastilwell.com/ FMI on Victoria and the show.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
My birds eye view of Missy.
A little bit of one of the courses. As a trainer it is always fun to get to attend training for a change. No stress of running the class, just the fun of participating and watching others.
For other dogs in the Rally class we had this cutie who belongs to my apprentice Jen. (Please excuse my HORRIBLE camera. I had the flash off so as not to disturb others so it was using caveman slow shutter speed. There will be lots of unintentional blurriness in these pics.) Other dogs included a Briard, a Sheltie, a yellow Lab, a Norweigan Elkhound, and two Belgian Turverns. All gorgeous of course. I wish I had taken more pics. I hope I haven't forgotten anyone. Now that I did the class I need to dig out my signs, buy some sign holders and start practicing. No excuses now!
Then after Rally there was a handling seminar with a UKC judge. I am thinking about showing our frenchie in the Veterans class since she turns 8 in April. Since she is already spayed that is the only class she qualifies for in conformation. (plus they have to be 8 or older) This is a way to dip my toe in the show world and see if I like it without having an intact dog on my hands. Why oh why won't AKC have alter classes? They have them at cat shows and they are VERY competitive. I know they use the, "We use shows to prove breed quality blah blah blah" as their reasoning. However I think that alter classes would be a great way to show progeny of a breeding program AND help addict others into the show world. If it is all about money I think AKC would love to hear of ways to get new people into the show rings. (statisticly entries are down the past few years hence the addition of Rally) Of course I also wish there were more UKC shows around. I love the critiquing of the dogs they do and the fact it is much more laid back. No professional handlers!!! But I digress.
I have actually been going to handling classes in the past as a way to practice Missy's stand for the exam in regular obedience. It worked wonders for her getting used to people bending over her. She loves handling class now because it means lots of treats just for standing and looking pretty. She can do that very well. All I need to do is walk a straight line. Hey it's harder than it looks!
I have also taken my akita Jack in the past just as a way to get him out to do something around other dogs. Many handling classes are drop in so you don't need to set a certain amount of weeks aside to be somewhere specific. Perhaps when Jack hits 8 I will try him in veterans as well just for fun.We had quite a variety of breeds in the handling class. Irish wolfhounds, labs, turverns, a beagle, a briard, a norweigan elkhound, a cardigan welsh corgi and even a chihuaha. It was fun being around so many other dog people all at once. No worries about to much dog conversation there!
The facility was wonderful. Fabulous skid free flooring. It is a new building owned by http://www.leapingdogs.com/ She was off at a seminar herself but had rented out the space for the classes by other instructors. I admit I had facility envy. I would love to have the space to practice my own stuff inside nice and warm and mud free.
My next doggy trip is March 29th. I am headed to Portland for an aggression seminar with Dr. Nicholas Dodman at HappyTails. http://www.happytailsportland.com/ I love behavior seminars so it should be alot of fun.
He had a bout of hives last week and had to see the vet but seems to be fine now. We switched his food just in case that was the culprit. Boxers can have sensitive skin problems along with breathing issues so do your breed research before considering adoption to be sure it is something you can handle financially and emotionally.
Extreme close up anyone?
Typical of other short faced breeds Jake also has bouts of, shall we say gassyness. If your sense of smell is delicate you may want to consider another breed. (A great product I have found to combat it in my own frenchie is Old Mother Hubbards Char tar biscuits. One a day works wonders in our house.)
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Friday, March 14, 2008
There is a story in the news about a woman in Colorado who is getting fined for dying her poodle pink. Pink was chosen to raise awareness for breast cancer. This blog link sums it up quite nicely:
What astounds me is that this is considered cruel treatment of the dog.
First, poodles are NOT rabbits and chicks which is why the law there was created in the first place. Apparently people were dying bunnies and chicks them to sell around Easter time. Using gimmick to push product because that is the spirit of Easter after all. Let's forget that a few weeks later the kids get tired of the blue/green/yellow holiday pet and mom or dad dumps them off at their local rescue. But I digress.
I agree that bathing a rabbit or chick is a cruel thing to to to color them. They are not animals that are normally bathed so they do not take to it well. A rabbit that is over stressed can easily have a heart attack and die. Chicks can overheat which can also cause them to die. Dogs on the other hand, especially a highly groomed breed such as a poodle, have no such issue. Poodles are groomed more than many humans are in some cases! So to say staining the dogs fur with vegetable juice or other dye as cruel is quite bizarre to me.
How about we concentrate on the dogs living on the end of tie out chains 24/7 or dogs being used in fighting rings. What about the hoarders that are taking in dogs and not feeding them or getting them medical care? What about the people moving out of their homes leaving behind their dogs abandoning them to starve to death? How about we find REAL cruelty to fine an owner for? I have a hard time believing this town has none of those other issues going on within their jurisdiction.
Dogs do not care what color their fur is. Some might even like it if it gets them extra attention. Dogs care about food, attention and good care. Unless the dying process includes using acid or product harmful to a dogs skin I see no cruelty here. I think the people need to consider the intent of this law, not just the letter of it.
As to the issue of guardianship vs ownership here are my personal thoughts on the subject. I own my dogs because I either bought them or paid an adoption fee for them. One I was given as a gift. While they are not objects, because they are living beings, they are something we can acquire similarly. Because of this I consider myself their owner. However I also consider them companions to me because we spend time together having fun or just relaxing with each other. Their presence is comforting and entertaining to me as I hope I am to them as well. I am also their guardian because I provide care for them. I feed them, exercise them, train them and oversee their medical care. I guard them from danger.
Owner. Companion. Guardian.
Which word is more important depends on the individual. Sadly some are using the words to push an animal rights agenda. Unfortunatly not all that is labled animal rights is all that helpful for the animals in question. Peta is just one poster child for animal rights gone awry. In some cases or places, legally it may be better for us to be their owners. Because in court, should something happen, they are considered worth more if they are our property. So legally it can be a bit of a sticky wicket depending on your own local legislation.
I wish it wasn't about the terms, and more about the expectations of what proper care is. Good food, clean water, warm comfortable housing, regular medical care, basic training, daily attention. That is my basic list of what every dog (and pet) should receive to be considered properly taken care of. It is unfortunate that so many pets fall short of that list because of the apathy of it's human owner. Perhaps those are who we need to target, instead of the pink poodle owners. Just a thought.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
OK maybe they have a point. It happens. Frequently. Not everyone is as enamored by dogs as me. I get that. I didn't realize quite how bad it was until this weekend when there was a function at my grandmothers house. (She is 86 and Fabulous!!!) While seated at the kids table, (a great way to feed denial about my true age) I was the brunt of some jokes regarding my doggy "speech impediment". We all laughed alot and it was fun. It did however make me realize just how often it happens. I guess I need to try harder to stay on topic when dogs aren't the actual subject of the conversation. Yeah, you better wish me luck with that.
Of course this is a dog blog where I CAN talk all I want about dogs and not get made fun of. Thank goodness for the small things. :-)
If it is possible to be in love with a book, this is my new love.
Dog Man by Martha Sherrill. It is a story about a man that helped save the akita breed when it was in danger of extinction during WWII. Now I admit I was prepared to like the book for the topic alone. I have had akitas for 16 years so far and I am a fan. (ALERT: Not every breed is appropriate for every home so research BEFORE you buy the cute puppy or beautiful dog you see. PLEASE!!!) I have to say however that my expectations of the book were far exceeded. It is beautifully written with fantastic photos and is about more than the history of a breed. The life lived by Morie and his convictions are astounding. Not to say he was perfect either. Some of his decisions weren't always in the best interests of his family life. It was also interesting to read about another person who loved to talk "dogs". The observations about this from his family were also a bit of a wake up to my own tunnel vision at times regarding the subject. I highly recommend the book to other bibliophiles or dog lovers with an interest in history. It is well worth the time.
*Another book I found that I love is this one put out by Phaidon. http://www.phaidon.com/ Simply titled "dogs" it is antique photos of dogs sprinkled with a few fitting quotes through out. Again another good book for dog and history buffs.
Friday, March 7, 2008
"The video is shocking and deplorable and is contrary to the high standards we expect of every Marine," said Major Chris Perrine. "This video came to our attention this morning, and we have initiated an investigation. We do not tolerate this type of behavior and will take appropriate action." **
Monday, March 3, 2008
Here is the official website for anyone else interested: http://www.iditarod.com/
Sunday, March 2, 2008
This sweet face belongs to Louisa. She is one of the shelter dogs we worked with today.
When I say we I mean my apprentice Jen and I. Jen is studying to be a dog trainer through the Animal Behavior College and I am her Mentor Trainer. ( http://www.animalbehaviorcollege.com/ ) It is an online program for people that want to learn to become dog trainers. I really like the fact they require a hands on portion and it isn't just a home study course. Everyone learns differently, but I think working under another trainers supervision is very important when starting out in the training field. I like the fact that it is a positive method based program as well.
The school also requires their students to do time at an animal shelter as a volunteer. Shelters are always looking for warm bodies to help out so it is a win/win for everyone as I see it. Especially the dogs who need the hands on time. There are many ways to become a dog trainer, this is just one option. Whatever your choice I believe it is important to get hands on training under your belt with another trainer before hanging your business shingle. It is unfortunate that anyone can say they are a dog trainer with no actual experience beyond training their own dogs. It is an unregulated field remember. This is why finding out more about your trainer before you trust your dogs training to them is very important.
Louisa says "Wanna play?"
Another shelter dog Fizzy.
She also loves to play. I don't know about you but I could watch dogs playing all day long.
She does this ALL the time. Yes it is a wonder she doesn't suffocate. Fortunately for her we watch out where we sit now. Silly girl!