Monday, September 29, 2008

Sleeps with dogs

It is time for me to make an admission. I have a second job.

It started back last December when I began training for a part time dispatcher position at my husbands urging. (Fire/Police/EMS) It was always our long term plan that I get another job once the kids were old enough to be in school all day. Well we certainly passed that deadline awhile ago. (they are in 6th and 8th grade now) Plus a job for me with benefits will help us once he retires from his current position as a police officer.

I LOVE being a dog trainer but owning your own business presents a few problems with things like the lack of benefits and job security. Sure I'll always have the job, but when the economy is bad people aren't always calling for stuff they consider a luxury item. Unfortunately for some this includes dog training. When I started this business I was also one of only two trainers in the area and the only one using positive methods. Now I am one of five that I know of. (4 out of 5 being positive) Plus my forte is private sessions. I didn't want to go back to offering lots of group classes just for the revenue because I knew it wouldn't make me happy. For me training is about more than the money I can earn. I have never been in this for the money, a fact that sometimes exasperates my husband greatly. It is what I love to do to help people and dogs.

I didn't mention it on here before because I didn't want anyone thinking I thought of the training as a part time endeavor. It is my first love and passion. Plus truth be told I wasn't sure I would make it as a dispatcher at times. (and still have questioning moments) I am now full time dispatching and work 4 days a week 10 hours a day on the overnight shift. (including weekends) I didn't plan on going full time quite so soon, (my training lasted until July) but a spot unexpectedly opened up. Considering the economy I would be a fool to have turned the extra hours down.

(Side note: Please make sure your house number is EASILY visible from the road and in the dark. If you want EMS/Fire/Police to be able to find you QUICKLY in an emergency this can save precious minutes. Also be aware that a landline phone gives us a readout of your exact location, a cel phone does not. It might be possible to track you with a cel IF the weather doesn't interfere and IF your carrier provides that service. So you may want to consider keeping a landline in your house for emergencies.)

The great news is this means I have extra funds for the better diet the dogs are on and to buy them lots of good stuff. (oh and stuff for my kids and family too) It also means with the schedule I have that the dogs aren't home alone for 10 hours at a stretch. While I work they are home sleeping with the family. While the family is at school or work I am home asleep, with them.

Missy sleeps on the foot of the bed, Jack in his crate that he loves (door open, he refuses to get on the bed for any length of time) and Jenny the naked pug insists on sleeping UNDER the covers with me. Either curled up behind my knees, in front of my tummy or stretched out along side me. We all wake up for one potty break during the day and then back to bed to finish out the hours needed for me to be able to function at work.

*And if you had told me a few years ago that not only would I someday have small dogs, but that they would be allowed IN bed with me I would have asked what you were drinking. It is amazing how things change.*

So far it is working out pretty well. I still have moments of adjustment. Like not being able to get extra sleep the first day of my week. But overall it is do-able. I get 3 days in a row off to see clients or work the prison dog program and my afternoons are also free to see them on the nights I work.

To dispel any rumors, I want it to be very clear that I didn't get another job because business was bad or I wanted to get out of training. I got a second job because it is part of our overall plan for long term financial security and medical benefits. End of story.

I am still going to play the lottery and hope I get lucky. My dream job at this point is to be a rich philanthropist. Of course I would still probably see clients for the fun of it but I could do it at the new animal shelter I would build with some of my winnings. Oh to dream.

Until then you can find me sleeping with the dogs. ZZZzzzzzz

Friday, September 26, 2008

Before and After ~ A grooming tale

This could also be called, Jack the hairy beast. Here is Jack last September (I think) during an attempt of mine, pitiful though it was, to stack him. I show you this so you get an idea just how thick his coat is normally. Though it doesn't show just how long his back bloomers usually are. (more before pics can be seen in the right side photo area)

Here is the haircut I gave him in progress sometime last month. It started with a hot spot on his back that I shaved to help with the healing. Then for some silly reason I thought I would take more of his coat off due to a slow shedding season. (Tip you HAVE to brush them out first or the clippers do not go through the coat. So it is a falicy that a cut will save you time.)
And an after photo. You can see I only really took off the back end bloomers and leg fur. Which made him look abit front heavy.

And here he is with a REAL haircut from the groomer. Wow look at that, it's even!His side view before groomer, after home cut:
And after groomer.
So there you have it folks. The best evidence for investing the time into a professional IF you decide to ever shave a dog. (which isn't always recommended, is not something I ever thought I would do, and is fodder for another post) Thanks to Yankee Clipper in Rockport for always doing such a great job with Jack. He loves going there for baths and I don't know what I was thinking denying him the real deal.
On another note, his fur is growing back a bit slowly for my taste in the hot spot area. That coupled with a few odd episodes of him losing balance and losing some weight has made me do a blood draw for a full panel thyroid test through MSU. I'll get the results next week. Wish us luck in figuring out what is going on.

Hunting season has begun here in Maine and this is Jenny licking the moose blood off my husbands shoes. He has a side business as a game butcher, a fact the dogs love due to all the extra bones they get.
Jack and Jenny playing on Jacks new winter bed. Thanks to Lauren at the Loyal Biscuit Company for such great deals. The new plane toy was given to Jack by his aunt Monica. (mom of Nani and Tomo, also akitas) If you look past Jacks head you can see Missy in her crate chewing a bone. She is to much of a diva to lower herself to "associating with the peasants" in actual play very often.
Jenny is chewing the toy and Jack is flea bitting Jenny.

He won this round.

Jenny also loves the new bed. The pet stairs to the couch are something I got for our frenchie Missy because she would occasionally strain her back jumping down to the floor. Heavy bodied dog, short legs, a disaster waiting to happen. We haven't had another problem since and I highly recommend them.
Edge detail. Isn't it beautiful?
So that about sums up my week. Groomer, vet, shopping. Oh and some work thrown in just to keep my head above water.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Pure breed issues

First check out this blog about Hurricane Ike and the animals in need of help.

If you have a few extra dollars or equipment to spare please consider sending it their way to help out. This will be a mess for a long time and I'm sure they will need all the help they can get. If anyone has other websites that may be useful to the animal disaster and rescue relief please feel free to post them in the comments section. (NO PETA posts/links please.) Our thoughts are with everyone in the area.

*For the record I am not a breeder and have no plans to ever be. I know how much work it is to do it right and I can't afford such an endeavor. My vet makes enough off me already thank you very much. These are just some of my thoughts on the subject having dealt with many breeders in the past and thinking about it as a general subject in the dog world. These are just my observations as a self proclaimed "dog nut".*

There is much broo-ha-ha going around about a British documentary that has shed light on the health problems of pure breed dogs. Anyone who stops and thinks a moment knows this is true in many cases. It is not new information for anyone who has been in dogs for any amount of time. We have taken dogs and selectively bred them for a specific look and not always bred for health first. Just look at breeds like the bulldog, a breed that needs to be born c-section because the heads are to big for the mothers pelvis. It cannot surprise people that they then have issues being able to breathe with their shortened nasal passages.

The sad part of the story is that they were developed back before there was so much vet intervention. Does this mean we have created a different breed than when it was developed? Looking at old photos can show you how much we have overdone it in some cases to change breeds to fit our standard.

Consider also that breeders save puppies who might not make it without that medical help, and then sometimes breed those puppies. So much for survival of the fittest. Now I'm certainly not saying we shouldn't save a fading puppy, but I have to wonder if then breeding that dog later isn't adding weakness to the gene pool. Got a bitch that can't seem to get pregnant naturally? Well lets do artificial insemination. Does anyone else wonder if the maybe shouldn't get pregnant if she can't on her own? Could this be more weakness to be passed on?

Speaking of gene pools there are breeds out there with pretty small ones to chose from. I'm sure that doesn't help when it comes to trying to find a good pedigree match. Should we consider not splitting so many breeds when we have gene pool issues already? Is shrinking the gene pool now going to mean drastic measures later?

I used to think that a person that showed their dogs in AKC conformation events was the earmark of a good breeder. While it CAN be, I am here to tell you that isn't always the case. It seems there are some show breeders out there with only the standard of the breed in mind, even it is goes against the health or temperament of the breed.

Take the standard for the akita for instance. This is what it says under temperament:

From = Alert and responsive, dignified and courageous. Aggressive toward other dogs.

Now in this day and age, shouldn't we be breeding a dog that can live easily in our society that INCLUDES other dogs? Or am I crazy? I have heard about breeders using this in the standard as an excuse to NOT breed away from that trait. I have also been told, by several breeders "If you want a golden retriever temperament in an akita, get a golden retriever". All I want is for breeders to consider breeding away from traits that makes a breed tough for an average person to own. Otherwise, what is the future for that breed going to hold? While we fight BSL, shouldn't we also help dogs not become easy targets of it?

That is just one example. To me a reputable breeder is breeding to improve their breed, through health and temperament as their number one and two concerns. Because without these you could end up with a pretty good looking dog, and a soon to be dead dog. Bad temperament will get a dog euthanized as quickly as a serious health issue. Just check in with any local animal shelter to see for yourself.

My new litmus test is to ask why they are breeding and if they don't show to ask what sport or working trait they are breeding for. If they DO show then my next questions will all be health and temperament related. Tell me about the health tests the parents have had prior to breeding. If it is a working breed that they show, can their dogs do the work they were originally bred for? Or are they just breeding for the ring look? A good breeder will not be upset with questions, and they should be able to answer them with no problem.

So what happens if you end up falling in love with a "man made" breed like bulldogs or pugs? Well you try to find a breeder that does as much health testing as possible before breeding, or you go to your local shelter or find a breed specific rescue group to get a dog from realizing the challenges the breed can have medically.

(Interestingly there are imports of french bulldogs that are free whelpers so it is possible within the breed, NOT conforming to our AKC standard of course. To my untrained eye they look like the frenchies in the old photographs. The reason these people developed free whelpers is to keep vet costs down. Unfortunately they most times have horrendous health and temperament problems IF they survive the flights. Do NOT support those breeders/brokers please!)

That's how we ended up with our pug Jenny. I went onto a pug breeder e-list and asked about health testing and got ZERO responses. Why would I support ANY breeder not trying to produce healthy puppies? The short answer is that I wouldn't, and didn't. I'm sure there are some out there but it seemed at the time I had a hard time finding one. (I of course also live somewhat in the boonies which may not have helped.)

I am all for supporting responsible breeders. Buying from a responsible breeder gives you the benefit of a support system for questions and drastically reduces health issues that can crop up in the puppy of the breed you have chosen. (ALL breeds have health issues specific to that breed. Do your research BEFORE buying.) Puppies being produced from untested parents are a crapshoot. If health isn't a concern for you then don't support a backyard breeder or puppymill, (which feeds supply and demand and keeps these idiots in business) check out breed specific rescue instead. They are the ones cleaning up the messes most commonly caused by those type of breeders. And in some cases taking the "extras" produced by show breeders. (which I find vile and those breeders should be ashamed of themselves)

I think breeders have a challenge in front of them. One of them being to reconsider what they are producing for our society. Is this a healthy dog? How do you know, are you doing as much health testing as possible BEFORE breeding? Are your dogs sound in body AND temperament? Are you raising them in a good environment to give them the best start possible? Those first 8 weeks are pretty darn important in their behavioral development after all.

The buyers out there also need to take more responsibility. Do some research before getting a puppy. First make sure the breed you choose is the best one for YOUR situation. Not sure? Try fostering for a shelter or rescue. Try it on for size. Talk to rescue people before breeders (or visit their websites) to find out the NEGATIVES of the breed you think you want. Some breeders might forget to tell you all the downsides, especially if they are just looking at the sale.

Put your ego aside, a good breeder is going to question the beejeepers out of you to make sure the puppy THEY created goes to the most appropriate home. If this upsets you get over it. This means they are in for the long haul, not just to sell you a product. They will be there for the LIFETIME of that puppy! This includes if you can't keep the dog later. They will either take the dog back or help you rehome it if something happens and you can't keep it. If you buy a puppy as a product be prepared to go it alone and have many vet bills ahead of you. (Do you really think if they are breeding for money they are going to cut into their profits by testing the parents before breeding?) You will get what you pay for.

STOP and think before you get a puppy or a dog. This is a HUGE decision that shouldn't be done spur of the moment. I'd love to hear the statistics of shelter dogs that were gotten on impulse.

So those are my thoughts on the subject. I do think responsible breeders will admit the issues their breed has, and work to correct them whenever possible. Breeders NOT working for the betterment of their breed should be run out of it. Unfortunately there will always be uneducated puppy buyers for them to prey on. I guess our job, as the educated, is to help spread the word so we can save them from those breeders.

There are to many dogs out there needing homes already for people to continue adding to the supply and demand chain for irresponsible breeders. Be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A victim of stereotyping

Today I became a victim. A victim of stereotyping. I saw a client who during the session admitted a friend told her not to call me for help with her dogs because "She's been in the Marines and is heavy handed with dogs".

For the record the Marine Corps part is true. I spent 6 years right out of high school in the Marines as a jet mechanic on A4 Skyhawks, (seatshop) and as an Embassy Guard. (with tours in Geneva Switzerland and London England) I was even in the first class to admit women in the embassy guard program. (which explains my non-hardship tour, they had no facilities for women at that time) There are 5 of us women in the first class with 3 of us graduating the school. Two of us finished the full program successfully. (one went home early for personal reasons) I am very proud of the time I served and it was a very exciting time in my life. Being a women in the military back then was a challenge for sure.

However, how this translates to me being heavy handed with dogs has to be a mistake of stereotyping. Anyone who has read my blog for any length of time knows I am a positive reward based trainer. Since becoming a professional trainer I have always used positive methods with my own dogs as well. Previously I had been a traditional method trainer with them. When you know better you do better.

My husband got a good laugh when I told him about it. It would be laughable to me too if it wasn't something that I consider a negative perception of me and the training I offer. Even my dogs would laugh about it if they could understand the story.

All of my clients now are taught with positive methods with the RARE exception for special cases. (like the police drug dog that was previously trained with a prong collar and no food rewards allowed) The key to traditional methods is timing and knowing how to use it to be fair to the dogs. It is NOT used for behavior modification which I do a fair amount of. I seem to be one of the only trainers in the area who sees behavior cases. Thankfully considering one trainer (trainer X previously mentioned) seems to not know very much about normal canine behavior. Scary considering they are teaching group classes including puppies.

But I digress.

I would urge anyone looking for a trainer to check them out before using them. Don't just take a friends word for something unless they are describing their own experiences with the trainer. (and even then consider your source if they are prone to dramatics) Ask around to other people and possible clients of theirs and your local vets. See if they are online with a website. Find out for yourself about the training they offer. Call and ask them! Trainers expect questions from potential clients.

Hopefully after working with her and her dogs today she can nip that rumor in the bud. I would love to know who started it of course and I have my suspicions. I admit it took me back as it is the first time I have heard negative stuff about me as a trainer. Thankfully it is unfounded. It does make me wonder if others have the same perceptions. I guess I'll need to look at my presentation and see if it should be tweaked. It's always something isn't it?

Semper Fi!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Client updates, shoe info & looking for a bulldog

Check out this cutie Lola. She is a chi X that was rescued from a not so great situation. Now she is in a fabulous home with a wonderfully involved owner. I got an update from her the other day with this photo and things are going very well for them both.

I know I have been bad about posting client pics but the truth is I don't always remember to bring my camera. Sometimes I bring it and still forget to get a photo. I am there to help with training or behavior issues after all, not to make their dog a super model. Thankfully some owners are willing to e-mail me pics of their 4 legged family members like Lola's mom. I'll try to be better in the future because I love sharing the photos but now you know why some weeks are more photo heavy with client pics than others.

In other news I have discovered that crocs, the rubber shoe, is the best shoe available to step in dog poo while wearing. Why you ask? Well because not only are they easy to hose off, the treads are shallow enough that you can scrape them across the grass and it all comes off smoothly. Of course I try to avoid the dog bombs in the yard and am usually pretty good about daily clean ups but apparently I missed some the other day. Hence my "learning moment". Just thought I would pass it on.

Also an update on the Primal patties. It turns out the chicken ones have a much nicer smell than the beef. I also stumbled across a great new blog written by a raw food feeder. Check out Raw Pets. (also an added link on my blogroll) She makes me motivated to try some real raw in the future. Of course this means I would have to prepare stuff which may be challenging for me. Hey we all have our limits. And here is another cool website I found:

My sister is looking to add a new bulldog to her home. Those who follow the blog may remember her boy Zeus who she lost earlier this year.

He had some behavior issues and also drew the genetic short straw. If anyone near Maine has any leads on a bulldog that needs a home please contact me directly at They are willing to travel. The dog will need to be good with other dogs, because I will be babysitting for her when needed, and it has to be good with children. (They have a special needs child in the home.) I know, kind of a tall order. This isn't ordering a happy meal after all. She is also looking into reputable breeders. (a topic for another post I hope to make soon) I know some wonder if there is such a thing when you are talking about such a man made breed. Sometimes you do the best you can when you fall in love with a certain kind of dog and want another one. At least she knows what she is getting into with potential vet bills having been there and done that. She is a great dog owner and all leads are appreciated.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Progress report & photos

I think we are about two weeks in on the new raw food and one week for the dehydrated. Here is a photo of the Primal chopped and ready to go. I am adding some fish oil to Jacks portion as he is having some skin and coat issues. We had blood drawn last week for a thyroid test just to cover all of our bases since it can be an issue in akitas. Plus the fur is growing back really slow from his healing hotspot. Doesn't this look yummy?

And this is the dehydrated mixed and ready to go. They get this for breakfast and the primal patties for dinner. The Primal smells terrible to me, the dogs however seem to love it. The dehydrated doesn't have much smell and compared to the Primal is it a regular rose garden. But again I am super sensitive to smells. The dogs seem to like it all immensely so I will keep on with it. I will probably add some other raw foods as we go but for now the pre-mixed works great for my schedule. Even though Jenny HATES waiting for her breakfast in the mornings. The dehydrated needs to set for a few minutes so there is a wait time involved.

Here is a better pic of the prison dog Danno. Doesn't he look sweet? (excuse the nylon collar it is temporary til I get him a martingale)

I have some sad news to share about one of our previous graduates Diamond. He was the border collie we had on the program. It turns out he developed a fast moving cancer and had to be put down recently. At least his last year was one spent with a loving family and not at the end of his former chain.

Here is a pic one of the kids took of me during "puter time". While it isn't the most flattering photo of me, I thought it was cute to see all the dogs crashed out. Those are my favorite rubber ducky jammy bottoms. (Excuse the hair, I am in a growing out phase.)

You can see part of Jack's haircut. I vastly over estimated my skills with the clippers so he now has an appointment with his groomer to "fix" him. I'll post the embarrassing pics of him when I get him looking better.

Another pic one of the kids took. This seems to be her favorite crash position.

I caught them during a play session over the stuffed bear. I couldn't resist the pic because Jack rarely gets all the way on the couch. (Why do they always stop when I point the camera at them? Paparazzi shy perhaps?)

This is what Missy does when they start horsing around. This isn't even her crate but it had the chewie in it she prefers.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The new prison dog

Here are a couple of photos of the new prison dog, Danno. (Yes like, Book'em Danno!) Danno started today as the new K-9 Corrections dog for The Humane Society of Knox County. It took us awhile to find the right new handler but one finally turned up. He has owned Great Danes in the past and sounds like he has some good dog experience to bring to the program. Danno is abit reserved with people so getting some good one on one time with a handler and getting lots of positive attention (paired with food for some classical conditioning) from the population there will certainly help him learn that people are good. He was originally abandoned at our shelter so we don't have much background on him. He passed his SAFER test with flying colors though so we have high hopes he will do very well on the program. He certainly is a beautiful boy with that wonderful coat. I'll be sure to share more pics as we go. (The bandages in the photo above are from dewclaw removal they did when they neutered him. Apparently they were pendulous and getting torn regularly.)

P.S. I added some of my favorite pics of the dogs to the right sidebar. Scroll down to under the archives section to see them.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The never ending debate

This is Georgia, one of the rescued Michael Vick dogs. I fell in love with her when I watched her story on DogTown on the National Geographic channel. Yeah a good show (that showed POSITIVE training!!!) on the same channel that brings us (dun dun duhhh, music for dramatic effect) the "Dog Whisperer". (Tell me seriously, how can you not LOVE that face?)

Check out a great post, and the resulting interesting discussion about this show and how it compares to their other "training" show.

My opinion of the DW is this, he is very uneducated (which he himself admits in some of his books) and uses outdated and sometimes dangerous methods. His dog language reading skills could use some work. If they were better he wouldn't get bitten quite so often in my opinion. (of course if he didn't use such extreme tactics the dogs wouldn't feel the need to defend themselves either) He has taken a true method of training, called compulsion or traditional, and bastardized it to suit his own needs. If you find the need to use compulsion in training, PLEASE use the Monks version, at least they use it more fairly for the dogs. (Their updated version where they recanted the Alpha Roll since it was originally based on misinterpreted wolf behavior.) Compulsion training does have it uses and does work, but timing is everything. And suppression of behavior isn't changing behavior for the long term no matter what you call it. (Dog psychology? Why doesn't this guy have to meet the same standards as other canine behaviorists?) Also be aware that traditional training started back when they trained dogs for wartime situations and needed to weed out "soft" unsuitable dogs. So there are some dogs it just isn't good for. Real training is about communication, not domination. There end of rant. Back to our reguarly scheduled dog info.

And the update on the stars of the DogTown show for those that watched like me:

Updates of my own: As I left the shelter today little miss Angelica was being walked by a potential adopter. She's gonna go fast. I'm so happy for her but do hope she stays local so I can see her around. I wuff her!

Jack LOVES the new food, I used to have to add stuff to his kibble to get him to eat. Not anymore! My only negative comment is that is has a very distinctive odor I do not find all that pleasant. But in the defense of the food, I am a HORRIBLY picky eater. My husband says I don't eat anything with real flavor. If in doubt of a new food I smell it before trying and if it doesn't smell good I pass. Yeah I know. Not good, but understandable considering I grew up on plain meat and potatos almost every night as a kid.

Missy and Jenny also love the new food but their vote counts considerably less considering they also love the taste of their own poo. Just saying.

*Note to Hannah* I keep forgetting to say, Congrats on your engagement!!! Are they gonna be in the wedding? Apollo would look great in bowtie and Jenna could carry the basket and be your flower girl. I want pics of course. :-)

Friday, September 5, 2008

A new day, a new plan & dream girl pics

So I have made the plunge. After thinking about it for quite some time I have decided to try a raw food diet for the gang. I have always supplemented with raw meaty bones during hunting season (hubby runs a game butcher shop) but this is a much more defined long term plan. I am starting with Jack and Missy since they are about to run out of food. The plan is to feed them regular kibble in the morning and give them Primal Pattie for dinner. Then I will add the dehydrated food for their breakfast after the kibble is gone. (I was told you shouldn't feed both types in one meal since they digest it differently) It seems to be the best raw food option for me since I don't have the time, nor the inclination, to prepare food for the dogs. Heck I barely prepare foods for me and the human members of the family! One who knows me well might even be amazed I have kept them all alive to this point. (my secret is marrying a guy who cooks) So wish us luck with the new plan. I will certainly keep you posted. (Thank you Lauren for all your help talking me through the process. You rock!)

THIS is the girl I told you about. Isn't she just Divine? And her ears do the cutest things! Her name is Angelica.

Photos don't do her justice. I'm sure she will get adopted quickly. She is so sweet and good with other dogs too. And believe it or not she is afraid of cats. I guess she never read the dog handbook.

This poor sweet old girl is Misty. She was found stray. Can we say dumped? One of the smallest female dalmatians I have ever seen. We need to get her coat fixed up and some tumors removed. She is looking for a great retirement home to spend her golden years in. It looks like she had a few litters in her day as well.

I hate to admit but I forgot this boys name. He is 8 months old and a possible lab mix. (In person he looks possibly pit/pointer cross) Obviously in need of a neuter.

They are all available for adoption at our local shelter:

Yesterday I headed to Wal-Mart after a client in search of paper for my son. When I got there I saw something very similar to this.

On an 80 plus degree day squarely in the sun, tied to a bench was an older pit female waiting for her person to come get her. Now there are a few things I find wrong with this situation. One is the fact that she was directly in the sun on a hot day without water or shade. The other is that anyone had access to her at any time. Disturbing to me because we have some people in our area that aren't nice to animals and aren't totally stable. To ME tying a dog out and leaving it in this situation is a very bad idea for the safety of the dog. What if someone hurts the dog and it reacts by biting? What if someone lies and says the dog tried to bite them? Why put your dog in that situation if you don't need to?

So I stood there, using my body to provide some shade for the poor girl until her owner returned, over 30 minutes later. Somehow I managed to speak calmly to her and explained that it was to hot to leave a dog out in the sun for that long. Her reply was that it was better than in the car. My response to that was that while that was true she could have tied her on the other side where there was shade available. That is IF she was insistent on leaving her dog unattended where it's safety was in question. I told her I wouldn't trust everyone in this area to that degree. To her credit she calmly said thank you for the advise and said to have a good day. Hopefully she reconsiders this option next time even if she found me to be a meddling b***h. The dog was a very sweet older girl who's name I found out was Bella. I took a photo of her with my phone camera but have no idea how to download those on the computer.

Check out the new toy from the Loyal Biscuit. It is supposed to be a favorite with pugs and other small dogs. I figured Jenny and Missy would be pleased.

Jack and Jenny would disagree and say they are a favorite with ALL size dogs.

It is a good thing for Jenny that Jack doesn't mind sharing. Missy waited til they were both done then stole it and tucked it away in her crate with all the other hoarded toys.

Poor Jacks hotspot area is healing unevenly. To the point where I think it is time for a thyroid test. Thyroid issues are very common in akitas so it is something I recommend you do with your akita even if they don't show physical signs. It is also something I recommend for any dog with aggression issues to rule it out as a possible cause or exacerbation of an issue. (FYI Tufts university does a full thyroid panel on ALL dogs brought in for behavior consults dealing with aggression.)

Missy relaxing in her crate after I claimed all the toys back. (How can that be comfortable?)