Tuesday, August 29, 2006

A cup of Pug.

This was in an email, animated. Let's see if the animation works here.

Darn, it doesn't. The Pug sticks out her tongue and gives the middle finger salute. Well, pretty silly but I'll leave the photo up because it's just darn cute.
I have never met a Pug I didn't like, but honestly I find them so aesthetically unpleasing I don't think I'd ever deliberately go out and get one. The buggy eyes creep me out a bit, for one thing! Is it wrong to prefer one type of dog over another just because of looks? Actually, I've had a couple of fairly unattractive dogs in the past that of course I just adored because I knew them.
There was a Pug at last weekend's agility trial, it was pretty funny to watch, and she did quite well too.
Speaking of which, we had a good trial weekend, had fun, got some ribbons, and I am feeling very good about our progress in general. I love this dog and of course he is extremely handsome! That's not just my bias. People comment on it all the time and he gets his photo taken a lot.

A helpful anonymous commenter informed me that if you left click on the picture, the animation shows up.
So do that if you really want to see a Pug sticking out its tongue and giving you the finger....!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Dobermans at the fashion show.

I can't believe I had a 12 hour day at an agility trial (counting an hour drive each way), then came home, put on Actual Makeup and some mildly floofy clothes and went to a fashion show at the Red Ink Studio.
Actually, I was there as assistant Doberman wrangler. My friend Martha has two lovely Dobes. Rueben (who I would steal if I could, he is just about the perfect dog) was to wear real feather angel wings and get walked down the runway by a model. Well, the wings wouldn't stay on, so he got walked down the runway sans wings by a rather delectable male model.

I couldn't get any good runway shots, but here's the model holding both dogs. I love how the eyes turned out! I'm a lousy photographer. If you click on the photo for a larger view, you'll see the model's eyes are glowing red.

Her other dog Rachael came along for the experience. Both dogs were very well behaved, despite the crazy atmosphere and all the attention they got!
I got to take home the t-shirt the delectable model was wearing, it's great. Martha got a brand new t-shirt for being the supplier of the fashionista Dobe.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Aha! It's Firefox.

I've whined a couple of times about comments not being visible on my blog. It's not Blogger, it's my browser. I've been using Firefox and until recently, really liked it.
However, it's been erratic and slow recently. I googled and found that indeed, some people have noticed blog comments not showing up when using Firefox, and other issues. I've started using IE again with no problems.
I also found this, which I'm not sure I fully understand but I think it might be the case with my computer. I'll look into it fully later when I have time but I have to go Do Stuff now.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Where did the last week go....?

So one evening I was sitting on my back deck talking with a friend, when Elvis the cat trotted into the back yard with a little field mousie in his jaws. He dropped it next to Daphne (the small, silly Rottweiler) and started batting it back and forth. Daph got very alert, then picked it up delicately with her front teeth and carried it into a corner, Elvis at her heels. She dug a small hole and dropped the mouse in, then lay with it between her paws. Both cat and dog sat almost nose to nose, intently watching the dead mouse for signs of life. Then Elvis picked it up and started batting it around. Then Daphne took it, dug another little hole and put the mouse in. Then Elvis took it off for a bat-the-mousie game. Then Daphne took it away and put it in yet another hole. Then Elvis snagged it again. Then Daphne got it back and dug another hole.
Then it got dark and I don't know who ended up with the mouse but it sure was fascinating to watch. What was behind this game, I haven't a clue.

Last weekend, Mr. Turbo-pants and I got our UKC AG2 title, finally. Yippee! And some more pretty ribbons for our collection - a first, two seconds and a fourth. Now we get to run for points towards our championship. Which could take a while! You need 100 points; at least 40 need to come from AG2 runs. (Rules and obstacles are different in both AG1 and AG2 runs.) No points for any score lower than 196/200. A "clean run" perfect score gets you ten points, a 196 gets you one point.
It may be amusing one day to figure out how much each title cost, between entry fees, classes, equipment and associated expenses. But who cares! It's really fun.

Don't forget to eat your vegetables.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Another NARP.

I had to do this though.
Remember when I wrote about the old blue jeep I bought, the one that has a tape player and I only have four tapes? (I found another one, David Bowie's Changes. I'm sick of that one by now too.)
Well. The lovely and talented Vicki aka Junebugg took pity and sent me a whole box of tapes! Good ones! George Thorogood, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Melissa Etheridge, Patsy Cline (I LOVE her)...lots of good stuff, lots of blues, yippee. That was so very nice of her.

So a big thank you to Vicki!

Side note: Is anyone else having trouble with their comments showing up? The counter thingie said zero on both mine, but there's comments in there. Or the number of comments is wrong. Stupid Blogger.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Sexy Sadie.

No, this is not one of my dogs but I wish I had a pair of these lips so I could humiliate mine too.

The Beatles, of course:

Sexy Sadie what have you done
You made a fool of everyone
You made a fool of everyone
Sexy Sadie ooh what have you done.

Sexy Sadie you broke the rules
You layed it down for all to see
You layed it down for all to see
Sexy Sadie oooh you broke the rules.

One sunny day the world was waiting for a lover
She came along to turn on everyone
Sexy Sadie the greatest of them all.

Sexy Sadie how did you know
The world was waiting just for you
The world was waiting just for you
Sexy Sadie oooh how did you know.

Sexy Sadie you'll get yours yet
However big you think you are
However big you think you are
Sexy Sadie oooh you'll get yours yet.

We gave her everything we owned just to sit at her table
Just a smile would lighten everything
Sexy Sadie she's the latest and the greatest of them all.

She made a fool of everyone
Sexy Sadie.

However big you think you are
Sexy Sadie.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Please send a note, help shut down puppy mills.

Taking a couple of minutes to send an email to the judge is the least we can do. I believe Mark Miller has a history of animal cruelty and neglect and he is far from alone. That this country even allows puppy mills is a sad reflection on us.
Personally, I boycott any store that sells puppies and will not buy Amish products.
If you want to know why, google "amish puppy mills."
Here is a comprehensive website with lots of links. You need a strong stomach for some of it.


A puppy mill was raided in Lancaster, Ohio, (NOT Lancaster, Pennsylvania), in July 2006 by the Fairfield Area Humane Society. The dogs were filthy, emaciated, and most had parvo. 5 of the 39 dogs died shortly after being removed from the house. The breeder's name is Mark Miller.

We have heard that this breeder was selling puppies to an Ohio PETLAND. The outcome of this case is very important because it provides current evidence that Petland gets puppies from puppy mills. You can see some photos of these dogs at www.fairhumane.org

Mark Miller has been charged with cruelty to animals, and the case is coming before the judge August 17. PLEASE WRITE TO THE JUDGE AND ASK THAT THE MAXIMUM PENALTY BE IMPOSED. You may also want to add that Mark Miller should not be allowed to have animals in the future.

PLEASE DO NOT MENTION PETLAND IN YOUR LETTERS. We don't know the judge's name, but the letters will be delivered to him or her by the Fairfield Area Humane Society. Please email your letter to info@fairhumane.org and use "Letter to Judge" as the subject of your email. Or write to:

Fairfield Area Humane Society
Box 1109
Lancaster, OH 43130

You can read one of the many news stories about the raid at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14040552.

Thanks! And, DC area people, remember there's a protest at the Fairfax City Petland this Sunday, August 13, from 1:00-2:30 PM!

www.petstorecruelty.org all4theanimals@yahoo.com

Monday, August 14, 2006

Monday NARP - Starbucks and the kindness of strangers.

NARP = Non Animal Related Post. Because I have opinions on other stuff too and sometimes it needs to leak out.

So last Tuesday, I was in the drive through lane at my local Starbucks (interesting article, BTW)for my morning fix. When I pulled up, the barista told me the person ahead of me had paid for my order. How nice was that! By this time, she was gone and I had no clue why she'd done this.
So naturally I paid for the person behind me, isn't that the right thing to do, karma-wise?
Next morning I asked how many people had paid for the person behind them. Five. The lady in front of me was the first. She was driving a white minivan, I was in my little red truck and the person behind me was in a white Saturn. I noticed a big safety yellow Hummer back in line, and guess who had their order paid for and didn't pony up for the person behind them? Well, chances are someone who drives a Hummer in the suburbs doesn't have a highly developed sense of social responsibility so it figures.
It could be said that people who go through the Starbucks drive through every morning don't either, to be fair.
Apparently this is a trend, though nobody knows its genesis. It's been written up in the Starbucks employee magazine and I'm told the record was thirteen people in line someplace in California.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Daphne gets attention too.

I post more photos of Cooper, because he is way more photogenic, plus I get good pics from the professional photographers at agility trials.
Daphne gets walks and attention too, though! Took these last night walking along the creek at the park by my house.
I tried obedience and agility classes with her, but she is so poorly wired and easily stressed. She was a stress-mess during each class and wanted to kill the little dogs. Seriously, I think she would.
Crowds - even tiny ones - and new situations make her terribly anxious. I've tried her on Prozac (yes, it can be prescribed for dogs) and Clomicalm (anti-anxiety med specifically for dogs) in the past. The Prozac was ineffective, the Clomicalm made her nervous and sleepy. Best just to keep her to situations she is comfortable with. I don't know how old she is, she was a ghetto dog from the shelter and is getting white hairs on her chin now. Maybe about six, I've had her 4 1/2 years.

Monday, August 07, 2006

And while I am at it.

New shoes!
OK, bear with me, this is really strange. On Saturday I realised out of a couple hundred people, only me and one other person was wearing Teva type sandals. (I dislike wearing shoes and wear sandals or go barefoot, mostly.) Everyone else was wearing sparkly high-tech important looking athletic shoes.
So, in a fit of insecurity, on Saturday night I went show shopping at the sports emporium type store. Found all the sparkly athletic shoes uncomfortable, but found these Tevas, really comfy.
So. I thought, these are so cool I should post a picture of them. Then Sunday morning early, I checked Leigh-Ann's tiredgirl blog and whaddaya know, she had a shoe post.
Leigh-Ann and I are developing a history of posting similar things simultaneously and I really am thinking we share a brain.
Here's her animal blog, can't recall how I ran across it but I have it saved.

Agility pics.

Capital City Canine Club AKC trial.
Photos courtesy of Cathi Winkles photos.
The furkid and his skinmommy having fun. Bwahahahahahaha.

Furkids? Agh. Stop it!

A term bandied about to describe one's pets is "furkids." Even creepier, some refer to their children as "skinkids" which evokes an image of a child-sized maggot.
Stop that!
Your pets are not babies. If you want babies, have them. If you don't want to have babies, buy one of those dolls that talks and pees.
It's demeaning to any animal to think of it as your child, not to mention creepy and weird. It's an animal with animal drives - sexual, predatory, defensive, working, pack oriented, whatever. You simply cannot have a decent relationship with your dog if you think of the poor thing as a child.
I know a couple of people who refer to their dogs as children. One couple I know will tell everyone - oh, he's our baby! We can't have children, so we got him instead. And, they are serious. I feel sorry for their little dog, too. He's cossetted and catered and baby-talked to every waking minute, and therefore he's not a very happy dog. Nor does he have a shred of respect for the humans he lives with, he is neurotic and demanding and frustrated. It's a shame because he is a really bright dog who LOVES to learn and show off what he's learned. But since nothing is demanded of him, ever, he is bored.
I've taught him a few things (he is three years old and has never even been taught to sit, nor will he pay any attention to his humans if they call him.) I taught him sit and to jump over stuff on command, which took about 37 seconds because he's so eager to learn. When I'm at their house he follows me around and ignores his owners. I'm painting their house a bit at a time, so I'm there every month or two.
I've tried talking them into teaching him stuff, but since he's their baby they think it's mean to "make him" do things. Poor dog, I'd take him in a second.
I wrote about him back in March.
And stop with the blogs and stuff where you write from the pet's POV. They're invariably written as if by a gormless, dimwitted child, which gives one insight into how the owner really feels about them. Way to go.
Stop it.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Mr Turbo-Pants.

This is Eli, who is a really nice Sheltie. I included his photo just because I think he is cool.

Here's Cooper back in his crate under the trees and far from the madding crowd. He has his gel-filled cooling mat and a silver shade cloth for his in-between-runs downtime. Lots of that at trials! Saturday we were there over 8 hours and had two runs lasting less than 40 seconds each...this is a great venue. There's a pretty trail running along a big wide river, great for taking little walks and cool-off breaks.

Also poop breaks. Especially early in the morning when people are setting up, sgning in and figuring when they're going to run there's quite the preoccupation with pooping. All over the grounds people are walking their dogs, plastic poop bags fluttering, cooing "you need to potty? Let's go potty. C'mon...oh GOOD boy!" Because you see, pottying of any sort in the ring is an immediate disqualification and out you go. And if your dog is preoccupied with holding it, then he might not run as well. Of course that's always a good excuse for your dog slacking off in the ring. "Well, he didn't have breakfast, but maybe I overdid the treats last night...he had soft stool when we got here this morning. Kind of yellow. So I think he's got an upset tummy, he usually doesn't blow the weaves like that..."

Many people don't give their dog breakfast before a trial (I don't) in hopes they'll be fooled into thinking they might just get treat rewards in the ring, although that's expressly forbidden. You can't even have treat crumbs in your pocket, really. Not only could it be a covert lure for the dog, but I suppose random food molecules in the ring is a distraction.

Well, we had fun at our first AKC trial, but no Qs....happens to plenty of experienced teams, and since I had no real goal - unlike seriously hoping for our last AG2 leg in UKC - I was OK with it. There's a few different rules, too. We had three great runs and one train wreck. We're running Novice since this is our first AKC trial.

1: Jumpers with weaves. That's all jumps, with one set of 6 weave poles, very fast. Only one team out of the entire class Q'd and we weren't them! It was funky though - the first jump was the tire, then the dog immediately went to weaves. Dogs don't want to do the stupid weaves, they want to run and jump! We blew the weaves like just about everyone else, but did all the jumps perfectly.
2: Standard. Very nice, very fast. But. Missed the contact on the stupid A-frame - the dog is supposed to have paws on the "contact zone" at the bottom of the contact obstacles; big fast dogs are more likely to fly off the top. Oh well. Otherwise it was nice and fast.
3: Sunday Jumpers with weaves. Beautiful weaves, yay! And a nice run except he knocked a bar which is an automatic NQ. Another challenge for a large fast dog - a triple jump, followed by a sharp right turn and immediate jump. He knocked the bar at that jump, it's hard for him to get the right angle, remember we are going full out speed. I'm sure there's a way for me to help him get that right, but I don't know it (yet.) Note to self, ask one of my instructors.
4: Standard again. One of Cooper's WHEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!! stupid runs, which I am noticing he tends to do at the end of a trial weekend. I don't know if it's pent-up energy and he needs a bucket of downers, or it's like a toddler getting overtired, I wish I knew. He gets utterly silly and sloppy (although does every obstacle, just badly), bounces, barks, has a wonderful time and gets lots of laughs. Sigh.
We knocked the bar at the second jump and he was barking so I knew it would just go downhill from there. Now, I could - maybe should - have taken him by the collar and led him right out of the ring: we're not here to play, we are here to work, so fun's over. But you know, he was just so damn happy I figured what the hell, let him have at it. He turbo-launched over every contact zone, blasted over jumps, nearly demolished the teeter, plowed through the weaves sideways, and blasted through two tunnels three times (wheeeee, we love tunnels. Sigh.)
He got a big laugh, barked and bounced and I know it was totally the wrong thing to do but I didn't correct any of it because he was just so freakin' ebullient.
Our slowest run was 38 seconds, which gives you an idea how fast these things go.

I certainly picked a challenging dog to learn with. He is fast, has incredible drive, is very smart and demands a lot of me - if I don't give him clear direction he sure lets me know. Actually, the fourth photo down in my July 27 post clearly shows Cooper yelling at me by bouncing and barking. He is quite clearly demanding to know where to go next; I've apparently been too slow for him. Again.
I want one of those smaller, slower dogs next.
I know I'm babbling on, I think it might be funny to look back on some of my agility posts one day when I actually know what I'm doing. And have a smaller, slower dog.
The trial photographer got some excellent action shots, $5.00 per jpeg with permission to print it out. Here's her website.

At least we've never pooped in the ring. (Well, the dog never has and I certainly wouldn't ever!)

My little murderer.

My cat Elvis is an enthusiastic and efficient hunter. Since he moved in last year as a stray, it's virtually impossible to keep him inside. He's had quite a few years as a street cat (with the scars and previously broken yet healed up rear leg to prove it) and would be miserable. And very, very noisy. He is a real intelligent cat too and I imagine he would quickly figure out how to open the back door and let himself out.

I feel badly that he hunts and kills city wildlife. I realise this is natural and very enjoyable for him. Cats that have access to the outside are, IMHO, more fulfilled and happy - he climbs trees, hunts, plays, eats bugs and hangs out in the yard with the Rottweilers. He is fit and very muscular and is probably between 3-6 years old, my vet thinks. (Yes, I had him neutered.) He's also had the required shots and gets the monthly Revolution application for heartworm, fleas and other nasties. I wouldn't do this if he didn't go out hunting and interacting with strays.
I joke that he's really a Rottweiler in a little cat suit.

(This one of my favourite photos af all three, taken last spring. The dogs and I had just come back from a long snowy run along the river trail, they were pooped out. He and Daphne on the right have a sweet relationship and often sleep entwined together.)

I'm on a quiet street far from traffic and there's empty, treed lots adjacent to my house. He's staked out his territory and it seems limited to my property and the two empty lots. Since he took up residence, I rarely see the local strays nearby, he chases them off.

So anyhow, he brings in field mice and I know he's lost a couple of live ones in the house. I need to set up the Rat Zapper 2000 again. Four nights ago I was woken in the wee hours by a commotion; he'd brought in a very live house finch, which I took away from him and put outside. Next night, I stepped on a dead house mouse when I got out of bed. Following night there was a dead BAT next to the bed. How the heck does a cat kill a bat - maybe it was already ailing. I know rabies is a concern, I'm very careful when I dispose of poor little bodies. Sometimes he eats bits, sometimes not.
The funny thing is the Rottweilers sleep in the bedroom, and it's small. Elvis brings in these critters and I guess the dogs give him distance to have his evil ways with them.
So, should I get him a collar with a bell? Do these really work?

Think good thoughts for day two of our first AKC agility trial! Some of the rules are different from UKC. No stellar runs yesterday, but the boy had fun. I don't run until this afternoon and all my paperwork is taken care of, so I don't have to leave the house until 10 am or so.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

50,000 dogs beaten to death in China.

There are a number of reasons I do my best to avoid buying made-in-China products - it's a politically repressive, ugly regime.
Here is another one.
This of course isn't counting the dogs that get tortured (in the belief it makes the meat more tender) before being slaughtered for meat. Or the thousands of dogs raised & killed for fur - often sold here in the US in the guise of other more acceptable fur fashion items - in China.

But hey, they make cheap shit and your local Walmart is happy to sell it to you.

Cooling off.

The Flint River is two minutes from my house and the Dog Which Likes Water had a brief jaunt down there to stand in the water and contemplate life.
Only 93F and 55% humidity today, and improvement on the last two days.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Daphne's meme - 10 things.

1. Uhhhhhhhhh. What? Huh?
2. Mine. If Cooper wants it, it's mine. If he had it first, it's mine. If he might ever want it, it's mine. If it squeaks, smells good or is edible, it's mine. If it's on the couch, it's mine. grrrrrr. Mine. Mine, mine, mine, mine.
3. Huh?
4. Oh. Leash. Is good. I can't remember why, but leash is good. Means something good is about to happen. I don't know why. I shall twirl around in mad excited circles until I bash my head on something. Then I'll twirl around the other way.
5. Ummmmmm. What. Mine.
6. Food. Food good too. Can't remember why, but is good. Mine.
7. Elvis. Elvis good cat. Elvis my cat. I sniff his butt. Mine.
8. Huh?
9. Bed. Mine.
10. Huh?

Daphne is a short bus dog. Not the sharpest pencil in the shed. Her elevator is missing the 52nd card. She is a Dog With Issues, it's not my fault, I got her fully formed from the animal shelter 4 1/2 years ago, and while she is lots, lots better, she will never be All Right.
I went to look at another Rottie at the Ingham county shelter, which is high kill, depressing and sells to class B dealers (animals for research.) The dog I went to look at was very dog aggressive and avoidant with people. I felt sorry for her and I am sure she was killed shortly after I visited with her, but since I was still with the Stupid Evil Ex and his kids came on weekends, I couldn't risk a squirrely dog like that.
Daphne was cowering in the back of her pen, crusty with a staph infection, skinny and covered with shit from diarrhea. She bared her teeth, raised her hackles and barked furiously when she saw me. So naturally I opened the cage and walked in. She hurled herself into my lap and shook. So, I did the stupid thing and took her home.

Elvis's meme was funnier to write. I'll do Cooper's soon.