Sunday, February 21, 2010

Good bye my friend

Shur Paws Miss America a.k.a "Missy" 04/02/2000 ~ 02/21/2010

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Missy Report

I know I haven't been blogging much. I haven't been reading many of my regular blogs either. Missy is on another down slide and I'm not sure there will be an up slide this time. I swear it started as soon as I said she was doing great. It was a jinx. We've had to fiddle abit with her meds and the result isn't what I had hoped. I sometimes feel like she is simply existing these days. Not the life I want for any of my dogs. Between her sleeping and eating (and the much more frequent accidents due to some incontinence) there is falling down, stumbling, whining and moments of complete disorientation. Even eating her favorite treats is done with an automatic response and none of her previous joy. If it weren't for the prednisone I'm not sure she would be eating at all. I am taking it one day at a time for now. It kills me to think I may not have many more left with her.

I am second guessing myself about the looming decision right now too. I don't want to jump the gun but don't want to make her suffer either. I've said for years the worst part of having pets is losing them. I think I want to change that to the worst part is having to make the decision to let them go. Emotion clouds our judgement. Am I really seeing the situation clearly or am I in denial and am hanging on beyond what is fair to her? I'm not sure. My family thinks she is ready to go. I am the last hold out. Are they seeing something I am not? Living with a sick dog and trying to keep life as normal as possible for the rest of us all is also draining me. I feel I am falling short, for everyone. It is truely a no win situation.

I just have no heart for much blogging right now.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The ball is rolling

Today I had a meeting with the new warden (and others) about getting the Canine Corrections program back up and running. It has been on hiatus for various reasons. The meeting went very well. So well that they had me go over to the shelter and bring a dog back over to hobnob with the prisoners to get interest peaked for the handler positions. We have put 7 dogs through the program in the past one at a time. This time around they want one dog for each unit. (2 units) I am very excited. The more dogs we can get over there the better.
This is Duke. He is a 4 year old bull mastiff. He was the dog I took over since he has a lot of wow factor. (one of his eyes has an injury that is being treated hence the odd look) He is very sweet and quite goofy. He did great with his little field trip. Thankfully he loves to ride.

He came to the shelter with his housemate Daisy seen below. Their owners were moving and couldn't bring them along. The staff at the prison really loved Duke and would love to have him and Daisy to start the program. They certainly could use the training, especially on loose leash walking.
It was such a nice day that after I brought Duke back I took Jenny out for a tracking training run. (44 whole degrees!) She did great. I need to start ageing the tracks for her now. This was my first time tracking when there has been snow on the ground. I admit it, I am a wuss and hate to be cold. Of course she isn't exactly a fan of the cold or deep snow either so it works for both of us to avoid it. This is her after our last track playing with the glove. I love that she is a good tracker. She has a fabulous nose. Tho I have to say once in awhile it has it's downside. Last night my husband was sharing some cheeze its with the dogs. Well one apparently ended up under the couch. I didn't see it go under and neither did the dogs. But a few minutes after he was done sharing, Jenny picked up the scent and started whining and trying to get under the couch to get at something. I knew it had to be food, she does that when treats fall out of her crate too. She simply will not give up. She'll try everything she can to get the fallen treat and when that fails she takes up her station and stares intently at the area and occasionally whines in frustration. Eventually one of us notices and helps her out. I know we will never have an ant problem since Jenny tracks down any hint of a crumb in this house.
She is also the dog that can get ANYTHING out of a Kong. I have taken to stuffing them with a hard biscuit I wedge in it and then add peanut butter and freezing. She has learned bouncing it or chewing the outside to break up the cookie works eventually and goes for broke to get the job done. Food is definitely her currency. That sounds like it would be ideal for training purposes but for her it can mean she gets overstimulated by it. Instead of thinking about what she is supposed to do she gets to focused on the presence of the food. Timing is very important as is slowing her down. It's a good thing I love a challenge.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Jack loves snow

Me? Not so great at getting good action shots.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Creep crawly things-info on dust and grain mites

One would think that because I have Jennys allergy results I could keep her from being itchy. Not true. While I did get a better vacume cleaner it is only part of the solution. Here are some websites on the mites in question:

Grain Mites (Acarus siro):

The grain mites are pests of food and feed products, like cereals, dried vegetable materials, cheese, corn and dried fruits. These mites proliferate under high moisture conditions and are often found in conjunction with fungal growth. Severe infestations result in brownish tinge over the commodity, called "mite dust" because of the light brown coloring of the mite legs. This "mite dust" gives off a "minty" odor if the mites are crushed. The life cycle from egg to adult takes only about two weeks at normal room temperatures. Overcrowding in heavily infested products will force mites to move off in search of other food sources.

Pantry Pest Prevention:

The following tips may be useful:

**Purchase food in package sizes that can be used up in a short time. Do not store food products more than two to four months, if possible. Use older packages before newer ones and opened packages before unopened ones.

**When purchasing packaged foods, be certain containers are not damaged and seals are intac.

**Store dried foods in insect-proof containers such as screw-top glass, heavy plastic or metal containers. This will prevent entry or escape of insects. Cardboard, paper or plastic wrapping will not prevent insect infestations.

**Keep food storage areas clean and do not allow crumbs or food particles to accumulate, as exposed food will attract insects. Cleanliness is especially important in areas where pet foods and birdseed are stored.

Control of All Stored Food Pests:

Inspection and identification of all potential food sources is essential to controlling the infestation. Control requires locating and discarding all infested items. Do not overlook intact boxes or containers because many insects can chew their way into cardboard and foil.

Infested items can be thrown away or salvaged by freezing three to four days. Food can be heated in a 140ºF oven for an hour with the same result. Empty and thoroughly vacuum cupboards or shelves holding infested items, paying particular attention to cracks and corners. Vacuuming picks up hiding insects and spilled or infested material. Empty the vacuum cleaner or discard the vacuum cleaner bag after use to prevent reinfestation.

Do not use insecticides for controlling these or other insects in pantry areas. Washing shelves with detergent, bleach, ammonia or disinfectants will not have any effect on these pests since these insects lay their eggs on suitable food. Removing infested items and thoroughly cleaning with a vacuum is usually sufficient. As a precaution against reinfestation, store susceptible foods in tightly sealed glass, metal or heavy plastic containers or in the refrigerator or freezer.

If insects continue to appear, go through stored items again, also check other rooms in the home for possible sources. Tree seeds blown into ventilators or around windows may harbor these pests. Dermestids (carpet beetles) can develop in many products such as feathers, silk, wool, fur, stuffed animal skins, dead insects, lint and many other materials. If insect problems persist, seek assistance from a pest control professional.

This educational resource was adapted from Insect Pests of Stored Food in Kitchen and Pantry by S. Kamble, D. Keith and J. Kalisch, University of Nebraska. Link:

What none of the info I have found tells me is how to avoid the mites in foods in the first place. Is there a way to avoid grain mites competely?? Or is it only about avoiding gtting them in the foods you already have? It is confusing.

And because I have a sense of humor, check out the dust mite dog toy I found online:

You really CAN find anything online!